Search Continues for ‘Missing’ Town Chief in Nimba

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— Since September 3

There is an ongoing search for a 69-year-old former Town Chief of Manlah Town, Yarwin Mensonnon Statutory District, in Nimba County, who reportedly went missing in Manlah Town and has not been seen since September 3, 2019.

Peter Barloun, Chief of the Elder Council of Nimba County, who represents the Liberia Traditional Council, said Johnson Younh went missing, taking some of his personal belongings with him.

“He is yet to be found,” Chief Barloun said.

Chief Barloun told the Daily Observer that the disappearance of Mr. Younh remains so mysterious to the extent that neither his belongings, including slippers, bag and other personal effects, which he reportedly took with him, can be located.

“We have checked everywhere, including the surrounding shoulders of some of the nearby creeks, the forest, but this man is yet to be found or located,” he said.

It was not clear up to press time last night whether the missing man is still alive or has died. But Chief Barloun said this is the eighth time in recent history that people have gone missing in the Manlah community, though some of them were found alive, while only the remains of others were found.

Some residents hinted to the Daily Observer that there were reports of alleged “heartman” activities in the community at the time Youn reportedly went missing.

Heartmen are those who kill their victims in order to steal their body organs for ritual purposes.

A few years ago, a little girl went missing in Gbar Gwelay Town, near Saclepea City, central Nimba County, while in search of her mother. But she was found dead near the town following a thorough three-week search.

Also, an 11-year-old girl reportedly went missing a year ago in Boeh, also near Saclepea, but residents discovered her remains near a passing stream, where they had gone to fetch water.

There were reports of alleged foul play, but an investigation is ongoing, with the Gender Office in Nimba calling on officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) assigned in the county to conduct a speedy investigation.

The issue of secret killings across Nimba has caused some residents to resort to mob justice, with the result that two suspected “heartmen” were mobbed to death in Ganta in March this year.

In instances of missing persons, Chief Peter Barloun said he is seeking traditional methods of searching for a missing person, particularly in the case of Mr. Youn.

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