Officers at Blama Police Station in the Kenema District are investigating two teenage friends for allegedly poisoning an eight-month-old baby with caustic soda, leading to her death.

According to the Media Officer attached to the community relations department Kenema police division, Musa Kallon, Lucinda Torto who was the mother of baby Joan Massaquoi, and her friend Esther J. Sesay, were alleged to have mixed a substance suspected to be caustic soda which they gave to the child.

The incident which occurred on the 9th March 2022 was reported to the police by Kadiatu Farmah the mother of Torto, one of the suspects. Farmah told the police that at 10:30 am at the Holy Rosary Pre-Primary School in Blama town, she realized that her baby grandchild was persistently crying and asked her daughter what was the cause but she could not give any proper reason. She said she took the baby from Torto and notice that her mouth was terribly inflamed, which made her suspect that something might have been given to her.

Upon further interrogation, the mother of the baby confessed to having conspired with her friend to kill the child by poisoning with her caustic soda.

Officer Kallon said the baby died the following day on the 10th of March 2022. The two suspects were said to have admitted to having committed the offence and pleaded guilty to the police. Torto told the police that she was instigated by her friend Sesay to kill the baby because she didn’t resemble a normal child. She said they felt the baby was not a normal person and was probably a devil because she could not properly put up her neck since birth and together, they plotted to end her life.

Meanwhile, both suspects have been transferred to the regional criminal investigations department of the police in Kenema for further investigations. Post mortem results showed that Joan was poisoned. Politico Newspaper reports that, her remains have since been handed over to family members for burial.