12 March 2019

Liberia: Woman, 35, Arrested for 'Stealing' 2-Day Old Baby in Gbarnga

Reporters interviewed suspect Beatrice Moses.

Security officers assigned at the Ganta Immigration check point in Nimba County, in collaboration with their Bong County counterparts on Monday, March 11, 2019, arrested a 35 year old woman, identified as Beatrice Moses for allegedly stealing a two-day old baby from the C. B. Dunbar Maternity Hospital in Gbarnga.

The baby, named Mercy Flomo was born on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the health facility.

Beatrice Moses, a resident of Clara Town in Monrovia was arrested by security officers at the Ganta Immigration Check Point following security tip-off from their Bong County counterparts that a baby is reportedly stolen from the C.B. Dunbar Hospital.

Suspect Moses told police investigators in Gbarnga shortly after she was brought back from Ganta that she attempted stealing the baby, because she has given birth four different times, but all have passed with the latest being on March 2, 2019 when her reportedly baby died in Clara Town, Monrovia.

"Community people and friends always making mockery of me that I can always sell my children to the witches, a situation which angered my boyfriend," Beatrice said.

She attributed her action to being desperate for child, and the mounting pressure from her boyfriend of having a child.

Beatrice said she took the baby to Ganta in order to ride an any non commercial vehicle that are not normally checked at the various immigration check points. So I wanted to take advantage of that to carry the baby to Monrovia and present it as my own child.

"I recently gave birth to a boy, but the child did not survive, so I never wanted to go back to my people without a baby. Moreover, I wanted to have baby for myself," Beatrice said with tears streaming down her chest.

She admitted stealing the child early Monday March 11, 2019 during visiting hour at the hospital.

"When I entered the Post-Partum Ward, I held the baby as though I was a family member to the baby's mother, and when I noticed that the baby mother has left the child in my charge to go in the bathroom, I looked around and saw no one paying attention to me, that's how I made my way outside the hospital with the baby and boarded a car for Ganta," she said.

Bendu Karmo reunited with her baby

The embittered mother of the child, Bendu Karmo, 17, said when Beatrice entered the Post-Partum Ward, she began to ask for other baby mothers as though she were related to them.

"She came on my bed and began to ask me about one baby mother who was opposite me, but was discharged on Sunday March 10, 2019, and she posed herself as a family member on the ward," Bendu narrated.

According to Bendu, "the recovery of my son was a true belief that God is a living God, because he knows that I suffered to bear my child, so I am very happy that I can still be breastfeeding my child," Bendu said beaming with smile.

The head nurse at the hospital, Gertrude Sieh, said her colleagues and some of the security guards thought Beatrice Moses was a family member to Bendu Karmo, because they saw her interacting with the baby several times minutes before she disappeared.

She said the hospital administration has instituted new measures restricting the number of visitors to patient or baby mothers aimed at curbing re-occurrence of the situation.

She said the baby was recovered in stable condition, and was turned over to her mother, but said that the baby will remain at the hospital a little longer for further treatment and observation.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Bong County Police Detachment Chief, Fredrick Nappay said suspect Beatrice Moses will be charged appropriately in keeping with the law and forwarded to court for prosecution.

Ishmael F. Menkor contributed to this story.

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