BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – At least one suspect identified as Emmanuel Kollie, aged 38, has been arrested in connection with the recent killing of a German national working for the International Consultant Capital in Buchanan, Grand Bassa.
The suspect, who was arrested in Gbarnga, Bong on Sunday, Jan. 26, is believed to be one of the eight-armed robbers involved in the killing.
The victim, Juergen Schedemamn, was a manager at the company. Schedemamn was reportedly murdered by the assailants on Wednesday, Jan. 22 in Big Joe Town community, near Buchanan.
The 44-year-old German was married to a Liberian, identified as Linda Schedemamn. As an employee of the company, Schedemamn and his wife lived in Big Joe Town community, where the company is headquartered.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, according to Linda Schedemamn, she and her late husband, together with other company workers, were at a company-run entertainment center just opposite the ICC yard until 11:00 p.m. when her husband said he was going home, inside the ICC fence, to eat.
It was not long after he left that the mayhem started.
“I left behind to control the shop,” she said. “By 12:30 a.m. [Wednesday morning] before going in the yard, I heard the sound of scattered gunshots, and people began to shout that armed robbers were in the yard. Everyone panicked as they heard the shattering of window glasses. Later, everybody ran to save themselves,” she said.
After the incident, she said she began to look for her husband, but he was not in his room.
“We went in his garden where he keeps his animals,” she said. “But it was in the same compound where, close to the local people bathroom, that we found him by 4:00 a.m., shot dead.”
Linda Schedemamn believes her husband’s death was a setup, and not an attempted robbery gone wrong. She said he was the only victim, and had up to US$1,600 in cash, along with his ID card, and everything still neatly in his pocket while he laid dead.
Schedemamn wants the government to investigate how a foreigner would be killed in such strange circumstances, having lived in Liberia for ten years, seven of those years spent married to her.
Saah P. Alex, one of the security guards on duty the night of Jan. 22, was reportedly held at gunpoint when the robbers entered the ICC fence.
“We were two security guards that were put under gunpoint, and they asked us to take them to the manager office to show where the money was. But the sawmill manager opened his door and he was also put under gunpoint, as we all were taken to his bedroom,” Alex said. “They started torturing him and asking him, where is the money? Where is the money? He was just standing and one of my guys was kicked in the mouth. They locked the door and the manager told us not to talk because he has one spare key so he also locked the door inside.”
Alex told reporters and investigators the armed robbers broke down each door to access the rooms, fleeing over the fence once they had accomplished their aim. The assailants carried several AK-47 automatic rifles and single barrel short guns, which one of them used to kill Schedemamn.
The lifeless body of the victim was taken directly to Abraham Roberts Funeral Home.
Following the incident, the Anti-Robbery Team at the Liberia National Police, including Inspector General Patrick Sudue, descended upon the city in a massive manhunt for the perpetrators, calling on residents to share any helpful information.
After few days of investigation, police sources confirmed that the suspect Emmanuel Kollie was arrested in Bong on Sunday, Jan. 27, having in his possession three mobile phones and eight rounds of single barrel gun.
It has been reported that Kollie admitted to his involvement in the killing of the German national, but The Bush Chicken is yet to confirm this report.
Kollie has been turned over to police in Grand Bassa for further investigation, as the search for the remaining seven assailants continues.
Grand Bassa authorities, including Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh and the chair of the county’s legislative caucus, Rep. Thomas Goshua, have condemned the murder and called on the police to conduct a swift and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Featured photo courtesy of Lisa Larson