Monrovia – The family of the late Princess Cooper has rejected the report of the autopsy conducted on their deceased relative by the Government of Liberia.
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh and J. H. Webster Clayeh
As part of the ongoing investigation into the ‘mysterious death’ of Princess Cooper on March 24, 2022, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Justice, requested Pathologists Dr. Benedict B. Kolee and Dr. Zoebon B. Kparteh to conduct an autopsy on the body of the deceased. The autopsy was conducted at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center on March 31, 2022.
Announcing the much-anticipated result of the post-mortem examination on Monday, the pathologists said Ms. Cooper died of natural causes.
They named the causes as “Hemorrhagic shock – a condition of reduced tissue perfusion (the passage of blood, a blood substitute, or other fluid through the blood vessels or other natural channels in an organ or tissue), Massive hemorrhage (excessive blood loss) from ruptured Rasmussen aneurysm and erosion of bronchial vessels and Progressive Secondary Pulmonary Tuberculosis In our professional and expert opinion, the manner of death is natural.”
However, responding to the Government’s report in a press conference, the family, through their spokesperson, Dr. Abel Momo, rejected the report and is now consulting with its team of lawyers to decide the next move.
“We feel that what was reported is not consistent with the normal happenings of our sister, and we think that the report, as from the family standpoint, we cannot take such a report from the Liberian Government. We are still discussing as a family, what is the way forward, but we think the report and what came is not consistent with the pattern of death,” Dr. Momo said.
Speaking further, Dr. Momo said that prior to the announcement, the government did not inform the family, and they only learned about the release of the autopsy report on social media.
“There was no official communication sent to the family, nor through our lawyer that they would have announced the report today. We only saw it on Facebook posts and heard it from media practitioners. So we were not officially informed. And based on that, we got the information at the 11th hour through heresy or they say.”
He also revealed that although communication was sent to the family to witness the autopsy, the family did not attend because all of their concerns raised with the Ministry of Justice were not adhered to. Asked, what were the concerns raised, he fell short of telling the press.
Princess Died of Natural Cause
Pathologists examining the lifeless body of Princess Cooper disclosed that she died of natural death as the result of tuberculosis she suffered from.
“We did not have any proof that she was hit. No trauma on her chest, no bruises and so she died from Micro Bacteria Carbohydrates disease,” Dr. Benedict B. Kole says.
He added: “The scientific causes of Princess Cooper’s death are Hemorrhagic shock, massive hemorrhagic from the ruptured Rasmussen, and progressive secondary pulmonary tuberculosis.”
He added: “In our professional and expert opinions, the manner of death is natural.”
According to Dr. Kole, Cooper went to the hospital two days prior to her death and she was found to be suffering from fever.
From the report, there was no wound on her body but a little over two liters of blood was in her stomach. Also, no specimen was in her virginal. After all of the scanning she had blood on her lung, Dr. Kole furthers.
“We found massive blood in the lung of the late Princess,” Dr. Kole said.
Crucify Us If We Lie
According to Dr. Kole, the specimen of Princess was taken to many labs both in and out of the country and her body was free from any harmful substances.
As the lifeless body is poised to be given to the late Princess’s family, Dr. Kole calls individuals who will not believe the autopsy report to hire a pathologist and do another autopsy on the remains of the late Princess and if such person finds anything other than the report his team presented, he and his team of pathologists lives should be taken away from them.
“If you doubt the finding, if you anywhere in or out of Liberia –come and redo the autopsy and if we lie, crucify us,” he said.
Dr. Kole added: “If you see someone just drop and die, people will say nothing wrong with the person. No, something was wrong with the person.”
Pres. Weah Calls for A Second Autopsy
Meanwhile, George Manneh Weah has directed Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean to avail the remains of the late Princess Cooper for the conduct of a second autopsy.
The decision, he said, is to lend support to the bereaved family, in their quest to bring closure to the circumstances surrounding the death of their loved one along with concerns raised by some citizens with the initial autopsy.
President Weah said the government will fund the conduct of the second autopsy and called on the family to designate a pathologist of their choice, who possesses the requisite credentials and qualifications.
In the directive, President Weah urged Minister Dean to ensure that all civil society, political and other interest groups and individuals who have been involved with advocacy in the case cooperate with the family and send the name of a designated qualified pathologist to the government in the soonest possible time for the conduct of the second autopsy.
The Liberian Chief Executive reiterated his condolences to the bereaved family, saying the death of any Liberian, whether by natural or unnatural causes, is concerning to the government.
The President has however called on the public to respect Liberian professionals. He reminded them that the pathologists who carried out the initial autopsy were trained to international standards by the Government of Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).