The late Joyce Otu-Jawheh celebrated her 53rd natal day on Friday, March 23, 2018. (photo courtesy: Bethel World Outreach Church, Robbinsdale, Minnesota)
Scores of onlookers last Saturday witnessed in a panic the remains of Mrs. Joyce Otu-Jawheh in her self-contained fenced house in the Zoewloh neighborhood of ELWA after allegedly being murdered by someone said to be familiar to her.
Mrs. Otu-Jawheh celebrated her 53rd natal day on Friday, March 23, 2018. According to police preliminary investigation, the victim’s assailant(s) allegedly split her head and sliced her throat in her bedroom after she fought fruitlessly for her life.
The news of the incident claimed the attention of hundreds of residents in the neighborhood, its environs and elsewhere in minutes in the early evening of Saturday and immediately drew police’s attention to what police officers said were vigorous forensic and other investigations surrounding her gruesome death.
Michael Bedell, chairman of Zoewloh neighborhood told journalists that Mrs. Jaywheh was a loving lady who cared always to know how people around her were faring and was willing to share whatever little she had to those in need.
“She was a friend to all of us here. She stopped by each time she was less busy to say hello to all us in this neighborhood but here we are today only looking in complete dismay at her dead body,” Bedell said.
He said he could not tell the actual circumstances that might have led to her alleged murder but expressed confidence in the police to find those responsible to face justice.
“I was not at home yesterday when this happened but my wife Ella Bedell told me that Madam Jaywheh stopped at our residence, as usual, greeted her and asked about the welfare of all of us. According to my wife, Madam Jaywheh saw someone she knew knocking at her gate and she rushed there to usher him in. Whatever happened later and how she was killed we cannot tell,” he noted.
Bedell said there are ghettos in the neighborhood and people have been terrorized by armed robbers and some other common suspected criminals who have, in most cases succeeded in stealing valuable items from residents of the neighborhood.
The head of the Military Police Unit (MP) of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Benefit Mason, who said he is a brother to the late Mrs. Jawheh’s husband (residing in the US), said when he received the news he fainted for hours.
“She was my elder brother’s wife who had assisted me to visit the United States for business purposes and as a result, I have made several trips to the United States,” Mason said.
Mason said he missed a call from his brother Bouwoh Jaywheh yesterday evening but later received a call from one of the deceased’s relatives who broke the news of her alleged murder.
He said Madam Jaywheh was a Liberian who lived in the United States for over twenty years. She had a status as US citizen but she cared for her place of birth, Liberia.
“She was a business-woman, therefore she spent half of each year in the US and the other half in Liberia,” he said, expressing confidence in the police’s ability to get anyone responsible for the act.
Some relatives, in tears, claimed that a man identified as Beko should be held responsible for the murder. When asked, a source who begged for anonymity said Beko, as he is commonly called is the son of the deceased who is the only child among her many children in Liberia now but is addicted to drugs and bad friendships.
“He was in America with the mother and other family members but due to his constant habit of taking drugs and causing troubles, he was brought back home in an attempt to prevent him from deportation. But that has not even helped as he is a leader of a group of young men who are always found in ghettos around here. He smokes weed and is so brave. I believe that when police deal with him well he will confess,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, the vehicle of the deceased was discovered in an unfinished fence in Thinkers Village, opposite the Executive Inn Hotel on the Robertsfield Highway.
The 2016 Ford Explorer with license plate number A66040 was found with a GP 7000 generator said to have been taken from the victim’s home and the key to the car was said to have been collected from a young man by a police officer, who has already taken to suspect into police custody at Zone 5 Police Depot undergoing investigation along with Mrs. Jaywheh’s son Beko, whom neighbors pointed out to police as one of the prime suspect.
Meanwhile, the body of Mrs. Jaywheh was driven in a vehicle belonging to the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center for an autopsy.
The body, according to relatives, will later be taken to the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home to wait for the arrival of her husband and other family members.