The East Legon Police have arrested a 20-year-old woman for allegedly beating the three-year-old daughter of her boyfriend to death at Aboadae Street, Mempeasem, near East Legon in Accra.
The suspect, who has been identified by the police as Judith Atatsi, unemployed, is suspected to have used the sole of her shoe to beat the girl for playing with electrical gadgets.
The body of the girl, which was found with assault marks on it, has since been deposited at the Police Hospital morgue for autopsy.
The police found the girl lying supine, with bloodstains all over her body, in her father’s room where the man stayed with the suspect.
According to the police, an examination of the small girl’s body revealed it had scars from old injuries and fresh injuries.
Two of her teeth had been broken, with blood oozing out of her mouth, when the body was found.
The deceased was said to be staying with her 27-year-old mother, Felicia Abotsi, a trader, at Dzorwulu in Accra until her father forcibly took her away on the pretext of spending the weekend with her.
Confirming the incident, the East Legon District Police Crime Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Belinda Banini, said the suspect was arrested following a complaint by the victim’s mother that the child’s father had called her to come and take her dead baby from his room.
She said when the police accompanied the complainant to the house at Mempeasem, they found the body lying on a bed, with bloodstains on it.
According to her, the child’s mother claimed the girl’s father took the child from her in December 2015 to spend the weekend with her paternal grandmother in Takoradi in the Western Region.
She said the father, identified as Nana Tano, later refused to return the child.
Mrs Banini said the complainant told the police that Nana Tano later claimed he had been transferred to Bolga in the Upper East Region and that he was taking the child with him.
Subsequently, she said, the deceased’s mother claimed all efforts on her part to see the child or speak to her by phone proved futile.
The suspect, who is said to have abandoned the child’s body in the room, claimed after her arrest that she used a stick to hit the girl twice, resulting in her death.
However, the police said their investigations showed that the suspect used the heels of her shoe which was found with bloodstains on it.
Judith is said to have told the police in her statement that she had left the girl in the room to withdraw mobile money from a vendor close by but returned to find her playing with some electricity plugs.
She is said to have told the police that she got angry on seeing the girl by the plugs.
She said she subsequently went out to get a stick to hit the girl on the head twice, resulting in her passing out, saying attempts to resuscitate her with water failed.
Mrs Banini said although Judith claimed she called for help, a co-tenant denied knowledge of that.
Nana Tano, believed to be in his 30s, is said to have brought Judith from Takoradi to take care of his daughter while he travelled to Bolga to work.
The man, said to be a supervisor in a private company, is said to shuttle between Accra and Takoradi.
He is said to have called Felicia about 11:30 p.m. on July 16, 2016 to come for her child’s body from his room at East Legon, since he was in Bolga.
Mother of deceased
When contacted, Felicia said she had been calling Tano to plead with him to allow her to talk to her daughter by phone, “but he usually gave excuses that he was either at work or the child had gone to school”.
She said on July 14, 2016, she called to enquire about her child and to speak to her but the father claimed he was not at home.
Two days later, she said, she called again and Tano claimed the child was doing well and that he would call her back for her to speak to the child when he got home.
She said later in the night on that same day Tano called her and said the child was sick and had been admitted to a hospital at East Legon.
Felicia said although Tano could not give her the name of the said hospital, she decided to go and look for her daughter.
She said Tano called her three minutes later to tell her that the child was dead and that the body was in his room.