Since March 12, 2023, Princess Ireland died, her remains are still deposited at Maureen E. Capehart Funeral Home, as a blame game being made by her family, her lover and Capehart Funeral Home is leading to nowhere.

The family of a 19-year-old woman, whose mortal remains have spent months at the Maureen E. Capehart Funeral home pointed accusing figures as her lover, Abu Kamara who they said killed her.

But Kamara has refuted the allegation, denying being the one who caused his late lover’s death.

The family’s account

The Ireland family walked into the office of  The Stage Media (TSM) on Monday, May 22, 2023, to draw the attention of the government, rights groupings as well as the international community to the “murder case” of their

The Irelands explained that they received the lifeless body of their daughter during the morning hours of Sunday, March 12, 2023, after she had gone to spend the night with her lover, Abu Kamara.

In an interview with the Irelands, the father of the late Princess, Felix Ireland said, on Saturday, March 11, 2023, Princess received several phone calls between the hours of 9 pm to 10 pm, after which she hurriedly got dressed and told the family that she was going to take a walk on the road.

 Mr. Ireland explained, “The next morning, my elder daughter, Nyanmah Ireland received a phone call from Abu, who told her that she should rush to Redemption Hospital because something had happened to Princess.”

“When we went there, Princess was in the Redemption Hospital morgue. I asked what happened to my daughter, he said she was vomiting in the night and they do not know what killed her.”

Ireland, however, furthered that the hospital could not give his family the cause of Princess’ death on the grounds that she was Dead On Arrival (DOA).

However, Mr Ireland has accused Abu and his mother of killing Princess, adding, “Abu always had the habit of beating on my daughter while they were in the relationship.”

“Abu’s mother has also disliked the Princess from day one.  So beating on her frequently and his mother’s action indicates that they have a hand in my daughter’s death,”

Mr Ireland added, “For two months now, my daughter’s body has been laying in the funeral home without any cause of her death.” 

Mr Ireland told TSM-Liberia that Princess’ death was reported to the Zone 7 Police Depot in Caldwell since the incident happened, but there has been no substantial outcome in the case.

He accused the hospital and the Zone 7 depot of being bribed by Abu and his family to deny justice for their daughter.

“Abu and his family have bribed the police at Zone 7 Depot and Redemption Hospital to deny our family Justice for our daughter. In this country, when you do not have money, the law is not for you. I want the public and international community to help me get justice for my daughter, so she can be buried,” Mr. Ireland said sorrowfully.

Nyanmah Ireland, Princess’s elder sister narrated that she, Princess and some other people were playing a ludo game the night before her death when she noticed her sister’s phone was ringing continuously.   

“While playing the ludo outside that night, Princess received calls three times and rushed to get dressed.” Nyanmah said, “When we asked her where she was going, she said she was going on the road. Within 45 minutes, her boyfriend Abu called me to complain that Princess went to his house late at night and I told him he was the one who called her.”

Nyanmah furthered, “Around 7 going to 8 in the morning, I received a phone call from Abu’s Aunty, telling me, Abu was calling me to go to Redemption Hospital because my sister was vomiting throughout the night. When I called Abu, he told me he tried calling me but the call was not going through.”

“When I received those calls, I thought it was a joke so I did not rush to go there. When we got to the hospital, Princess was already in the hospital’s morgue,” she told TSM-Liberia. 

Nyanmah said they were informed that Princess died before she was carried to the hospital, stressing, “When we asked Abu for Princess’ clothes and phone, he could not give them to us. We went to Caldwell Zone 7 Depot, but they could not help us. Later, Abu’s people took Princess’ body to Maureen E. Capehart’s Funeral home without our consent.”

In tears, Princess’s Grandmother told TSM that her heart was hurting because of her granddaughter’s death.

She called on Patrick Sedue, Inspector General of Police to help her family get justice in order to lay Princess to rest peacefully.

 Abu’s account

TSM contacted Abu Kamara on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, to respond to the accusations leveled against him.

 Abu confirmed that the Princess visited his house but it was after 12 AM. 

Abu said, “I asked Princess what she came to do at my house at that hour but she told me that she brought one of her friends around Caldwell Bridge, so she decided to pass by my place to pick up some of her clothes from me.”

He furthered, “Right away I picked up the phone and called her sister. I asked her, are you aware your sister came to my place an hour like this? This place is dangerous. Her sister Nyanmah did not talk so I cancelled the call.”

Abu added, “I told Princess I was not satisfied with the kind of hour she came to my place. I wanted to send her back, but it was late so I could not do so.” 

“Later, she sent for bread on the road, herself went to buy it and she and my aunties ate the bread that night, then she went in my room to sleep.” (how can she send for bread and herself go and buy it? Please provide clarity)

“Princess started crying that her stomach was hurting around 3:00-4:00 am. I asked her what happened, she could not talk. I tried calling her sister Nyanmah, but the call was not going through.”

The 20-year-old explained that his 19-year-old late girlfriend requested that he should bathe her, after which, he went back to sleep.

“Around 5:00 a.m. my mother woke me up and told me Princess was in the bathroom vomiting, I woke up and carried her to Cynthia Nelson Hospital in Logan Town, but they referred her to Redemption Hospital,” he said.

Explaining additionally, Abu said, “When they (the hospital) laid Princess on the bed in Redemption Hospital, they checked her and said Princess was not living again.”

The duo had been lovers for approximately over eight years. According to Abu, when Princess visited him that night, she did not look sick.

He admitted to constantly beating Princess for extra loving affairs at the time they were living together at her parent’s place in Topoe Village.

He said, “But since I came to Caldwell, I have not beaten Princess.”

Responding to the allegation that he was responsible for the death of Princess, Abu denied saying, “the family is lying to me. I did not kill Princess and I do not know anything about her death.”

He said the family of the Princess wants to indict him for something he did not do.

“I beg Princess’ family to leave me alone. They just want to put me in trouble.

Princess’s father never used to like me to be behind his daughter” he said.

Responding to why he did not wait for Princess’ family before putting her body in the hospital’s morgue, he said, “I told the hospital to wait for Princess’ family before they could put her body in the morgue, but they said Princess had already died so they could not keep her on the hospital’s bed.”

Abu also denied bribing anyone as claimed by the late Princess’ family, and blamed the cause of her death on abortion for another man.

“What do I have before I will bribe the police and Redemption Hospital? Princess’s body is at Capehart Funeral Home right now and the funeral home management told us that she died because she had an abortion. She did an abortion for another man, not me,” Abu noted.

In Abu’s mother’s explanation, she stated that she warned Princess that night (March 11, 2023) not to be going to their house during night hours because of the insecurity of Caldwell.

She added, later during the night, from her room, she heard Princess’ cry from ‘stomach pain.’

“In the morning, I was in my room, I heard the Princess yelling,  Aunty Amie, you take me to the hospital. My stomach is hurting. That was how I woke up my son and told him to carry her to the hospital. I did not go with them. Later in the morning, I heard people saying “Princess did not make it.”

Abu’s mother without a medical report said the Princess died due to an abortion.

The hospital could not tell us what killed Princess because they said she was already dead. It was at the funeral home where they told us Princess died because she took out the belly (pregnancy),” Abu’s mother said.

 What is Maureen E. Capehart Funeral Home saying?

The remains are at Capehart Funeral Home and have been preserved for months awaiting the family to take delivery.

The funeral home is also at the centre of the controversy as the mother of Abu has said they confirmed to her that the lady died from an abortion.

TSM reached out to the Funeral Home. The home distanced itself from confirming that Princess died from abortion.

They told TSM that, “We don’t know anything about the body. We are embalmers and not medical people to determine the cause of death.

The funeral home further threatens to sue the families, saying, “If they lie to us, we will sue them.”

According to Capehart, both families brought a jury from the Ministry of Justice to do a test on the dead body, adding, as a funeral home, they were not part of any arrangement that brought people from the Ministry of Justice.

“The man they bought came with a clearance to check the body.  How can the family say it was the funeral home that told them that the lady died from abortion.”

“The man they brought to check the body for the cause of their daughter’s death gave them their report. Not us.  They are lying on the institution” the Funeral home responded.

The institution said that they disclaimed the family’s claim based on their ethics, that they do not check for cause of death stating, “their daughter’s body came in March 13, 2023, and we only embalmed her.”

However, also following claims from the family of the late Princess that the Liberia National Police (LNP) is doing nothing to investigate their case, and bring it to a logical conclusion, TSM contacted the Spokesperson of the LNP, till date, he has failed to respond, as promised.

Whoever is responsible for what might have caused Princess Ireland’s death, her remains are at the Maureen E. Capehart Funeral home, as her family cries out for justice in order to lay their child to a peaceful rest.

This story was produced with the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)’s support.


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