LIBERIA: Woman 33, Jailed For Beating Girl, 5, To Death

A 33 year-old woman, identified as Melissa K. Tokpah, has been imprisoned by the Monrovia City Court for allegedly beating a five year-old girl to death.

Defendant Tokpah, who is a resident of the 72nd community, was on March 18 arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP) based upon a complaint filed by community dwellers alleging that the defendant had beaten to death a toddler who was reportedly living with her.

Tokpah, according to police investigation, beat the child for defecating on herself.

Police report stated that the defendant worked as a social worker with a non-governmental organization.

According to the investigation, suspect Tokpah came in contact with the mother of the deceased identified as Martha Barkoun at the local charity where she (Tokpah) worked at the time Barkoun was carrying the pregnancy of the now deceased girl.

The defendant, according to the report, developed likeness for the pregnant lady and started catering to Barkoun until she gave birth to her child (the deceased) in March 2014.

The investigation uncovered that when the child was a little over one year, her mother (Barkoun) turned her over to the defendant to take full responsibility of the child’s wellbeing.

The deceased, according to the police report, lived with the defendant until she was five years old.

Police report revealed that on Monday, March 18, during the evening hours the victim defecated on herself and reportedly messed up the entire bathroom, prompting the defendant to vent her anger against the toddler by beating her severely.

The report said some neighbors attempted to stop the defendant but she reportedly locked her apartment and continued to spank her ward until the victim became helpless.

Noticing that the child was helpless, the report indicated that the defendant then contacted a neighbor who assisted her to take the child for medical attention at the James Davies Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival by a doctor.

Defendant Tokpah was arranged before the court on Tuesday, March 26, to answer to the charge of manslaughter levied against her.

She is currently being held at the Monrovia Central Prison awaiting subsequent court trial.

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