In a press release issued on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, the grieving family of James L. Choloplay, a 20-year-old prospective graduate of Lango Lippaye Public High School, expressed their deep disappointment and shock over his brutal murder.
The family, hailing from Sackie Gbomon Town on the Bong Mines road in Kakata, Margibi County, released a special statement regarding the horrific kidnapping and killing of their beloved son.
According to the family, there were no prior indications of any wrongdoing by their son in the community before his untimely demise.
On Saturday, July 15, 2023, James left their house and was approached by an unidentified female and male who requested a ride on his motorcycle. They asked to be taken to Zannah town in Todee District, lower Montserrado County, without mentioning the fare.
Disturbingly, the family received information that James did not return home that day. Worried sick, they immediately launched a search and rescue mission on Sunday, July 16, 2023.
The search continued until July 19, when they received a call from Marquin clan chief, Mr. J. Folley Lewis II, informing them about the discovery of a strange body in his clan.
The family wasted no time and braved a heavy downpour of rain to reach Yankpai Town, Marquin clan, where they found a mutilated body in the Meah creek. Due to the darkness and decomposition, they were unable to properly identify the remains and requested authorities to return the next day for a thorough examination.
On July 20, 2023, accompanied by Lango Lippaye students, motorcyclists, and community members, the family returned to the creek. There, they witnessed the police proceedings and a 15-man corridor jury before Mr. Joseph W.W. Choloplay, the father, identified his son’s lifeless body.
Shockingly, they discovered that James’ vocal cord had been removed, his left eye extracted, and both ears brutally cut off before being dumped in the creek.
The 15-man corridor jury unanimously pronounced a “Foul play verdict,” which only added to the family’s anguish.
Throughout the identification and examination process, the family observed several concerning issues. They believe that the people of Yankpai Town and Marquin clan were aware of their son’s body but deliberately withheld information until it had decomposed, hindering immediate criminal investigations.
Furthermore, they discovered that the police officers responsible for the examination were not from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and subsequently ignored the 15-man jury’s verdict.
The family also expressed disappointment in the lack of concern shown by the people of Margibi County, including church leaders, county authorities, the student community, and the Ministry of Justice, regarding their tragic loss.
In light of these disturbing circumstances, the family perceives their son’s brutal murder as a targeted attack, akin to an act of war against them.
They call on the national government, Margibi County authorities, and joint security forces to launch a thorough investigation into James’ barbaric death. They also express gratitude to those who have offered their condolences during this difficult time.
Mr. Joseph W.W. Choloplay, the grieving father, implores students across the county and country to reflect on why they are being victimized without any accountability.
He sternly warns the people of Marquin clan that they cannot escape the consequences of their actions indefinitely.
Signed by Mr. Moses Doe Nyepan, Uncle; Joseph W.W. Choloplay, Father of the Deceased; and David Sarsih, Uncle, the Choloplay family’s position statement serves as a heartfelt plea for justice and a swift resolution to the horrifying crime that has shattered their lives.