“No Foul Play in Little Jerome’s Death”

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11-year-old Jerome Brown being bathed by a community dweller upon discovery, just minutes before his death.

Police investigation says, but biological mother rejects claims

The Homicide Investigation Division of the Liberia National Police has disclosed that there is “No foul play” in the death of 11-year-old Jerome Brown, whose malnourished body was discovered in the home of his father, Emmanuel Brown, in Palm Beach Community on February 14, 2021.

Jerome’s biological mother, Mama Cole, is in tears and she believes that her son was starved to death as apparently evidenced by his malnourished body.

However, the LNP Homicide lead investigator who could only be identified by Police spokesperson Moses Carter in a Facebook live podcast as Jacob, dispelled belief held by Mama that the child died of starvation as a result of his father and stepmother refusing him food for three weeks.  Instead, the Police, quoting the father and stepmother with whom the child had stayed, said he had been suffering from epilepsy.

Little Jerome Brown after he was taken from parents’ house. His father and stepmother claim he suffered from epilepsy.

The investigator in a video released by the LNP Communications Department said that on February 15, 2021, his department received a call from Police Zone 8 telling them that a malnourished child was discovered half-dead in the zinc shack home of his father and step mother, with the parents accused that they had refused to give food and water to the child for a period of three weeks.

“Our team of investigators took the boy’s remains to the Abraham Robert Funeral Home and on the 16th of February and there the Homicide Division of the LNP and the County Attorney of Montserrado, Edwin Martin, responded in establishing the facts surrounding the death of the child,” he said.

According to the LNP Homicide Investigator, both physical and internal examinations conducted showed “that there were no bruises, laceration and or abrasion…the body parts were all correct, but the body was in an advanced state of decomposition and skin scrip because the blood is no longer moving. After the examination, we observed that there was no foul play and the police are still investigating.”   

Hawa Joma, a curious neighbor in the community, said she discovered the child in the zinc shack home.  Upon spotting the body, she persisted to ascertain what was really in the zinc shack, and after carefully looking through she discovered that it was a skeletal body lying half-dead. 

The police, giving reasons why the child was kept indoors, said, “The child was kept in the house according to the family because they did not want anyone to touch the body until police are involved.”

The spot where the little Jereme was allegedly kept by his father and step mother for two weeks

As the two conflicting views emerge in the death of Jerome, the police investigator only identified in the video recording as Jacob said they are still investigating to find out if the case is murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide.

 He added:  “We are still investigating and are encouraging everyone to help the police with information that will help us conclude the matter.”

Disclosing further, Jacob said the parents told the investigators that Jerome has been suffering from epilepsy since his birth, with his mother taking him all-around for spiritual treatment but to no avail.

The investigator said based on the fact that Jerome’s mother could not find a cure, she sent him to Emmanuel the father, a statement that proves contrary to Mama’s statement that she sent the child to the father upon request that Emmanuel wanted to have his son stay with him in Monrovia.    

Home of Emmanuel Brown and his family in the Palm Beach community, Paynesville.

Jacob said “The step mother of little Jerome, Manee, has not been detained except the father. “  As Emmanuel Brown remains in detention, the Police is also calling for a lawyer to sign for him to be taken to the court after the three-day statutory period.

Meanwhile, Mama Cole has expressed disappointment in the LNP for coming out with such report after her child had allegedly been dehumanized and died because of an inhumane treatment.

She said the picture that is circulating about the child does not in any way show that his body was decomposing as claimed by the police.

“If my son has been sick, why did they hide it from me?  Or why when the community members were asking for him they told them that he has come to me?” She questioned in tears.

She said even the box that the child was kept in is not appropriate for a living human being.

8 COMMENTS

  1. It is inconceivable to believe this child died as the result of epilepsy. From all indications and given the condition of the child at the time of death, one can only hold to the opinion that he might have been abundant due to his illness. This is murder and the police needs to further investigate deeper.

  2. The police should first find out if the kid was on medication and if he was been fed. It is possible that because he was a known epileptic patient that he was refuse to use utensils in the home and so he was never fed. There are thousands of epileptic patients in Liberia that are medical doctors to the least position you can think of. How many of them are malnourished? When they found out that he was losing weight what did they do to help him? That state in which he reached before he die was a long process. Because without food the body starts to eat up itself by first making use of the fat before coming to protein. Others will be looking at Liberia. It was better to get expat view from health workers before the police made the statement. That child could have been someone to have a greater impact on Liberia

  3. Brother Aaron, you are quite correct of your analysis of this whole case. To be frank, the LNP is not doing justice by allowing the step mother to move freely while little Jerome’s father is being kept behind bars alone. The step mother too has to be imprisoned as well while the investigation continues. I am a victim of a step mother’s treatment when my late father divorced my biological mother for another woman when I was at the age of 9, my little brother 6, and our only sister, 3.
    Some step mothers always treat other women’s children as animals not knowing the future of those children. But I give God the glory today that I am able to raise and feed my own family, while that wicked stepmother languages in absolute poverty with her children not doing a thing for her. Little Jerome’s mother should take her case to the Gender Ministry and if possible to the human rights commission. I am quite sure, her case will be properly addressed.
    I am completely disappointed in the LNP for saying there was no foul play in little Jerome’s death when in fact it is established that the little boy died of starvation. Epileptic patients are being treated in Liberia free of charge. I have my 23 year old nephew who is epileptic and because of the treatment he is on, he has never fell off for the past 8 years because of the treatment.
    The action of the father and step mother toward little Jerome is a complete violation of his inalienable right as human under the UN charter on human right.

  4. Tha Ministry of Gender should take charge of investigation with help from the Liberia National Police, and both parents (father and stepmother) must be detained until investigation is concluded, not the other way around.

    Results from the police investigation is scanty-absence of brusises, lacerations or abrasions doesn’t mean that abuse/neglect didn’t occur. Individuals struggling with epilepsy/seizures eat well and have no weight loss issues. Thus, the deceased probably had a medical issue (e.g. cancer) that was undiagnosed/untreatable due to financial issues, unsophisticated healthcare system, etc., or was abused….keeping in mind that there are different forms of abuse including neglect.

    What is the role of the Ministry of Gender?

  5. Mothers, how I pity you for the pains you bear!

    Poor Mama Cole has only her eyes to cry for the cruel lost of her son.
    Another partial police report: No foul play! Cheeey, policeman! So, you have the mind to look at this skinny body and say, “no foul play”?

    You guys should continue to do your own, God will judge each of us at the opportune time.

  6. “No foul play”?? How did the child reach that stage of malnutrition ? Why didn’t they seek help at JFK (if at all they didn’t- well JFK is just a name)? Why wasn’t the mother informed of this advanced stage of malnutrition(assuming she wasn’t)? Epilepsy doesn’t render you malnourished as far as my medical knowledge serves me (assuming you were fed).This is a case of neglect.

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