Takoradi 'missing and found' woman offered psychiatric care

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Josephine Panyin Mensah
Josephine Panyin Mensah

The 'missing and found' Takoradi woman, who, the police has said was "never pregnant" has been offered a psychiatric care.

A psychiatrist was dispatched from Accra to Takoradi on Thursday [September 23] to go and attend to Josephine Panyin Mensah, a source has told Graphic Online.

This is because there are not many psychiatrists in Ghana and there is none stationed in the Western Region.

On Wednesday [September 22], a day after she was found, she was offered a clinical psychological care, Graphic Online sources have hinted.

On Thursday, the next step of the care being offered her was for her to speak to a psychiatrist, for examination and for further steps to be taken on her case.

Related: Security disputes missing pregnant woman claim but family maintains assertion

Last week [Thursday, September 16] Josephine Panyin Mensah was reported missing.

She was said to be nine months pregnant, nearing her term for delivery.

On Tuesday, [September 21] she was found in Axim without the pregnancy or a baby.

Following police investigations, a doctor at the Axim Government Hospital has said she was never pregnant.

A secondary opinion from the European Hospital in Takoradi has also confirmed that she was never pregnant and was never provided ante-natal care at the European Hospital in the last nine months.

This is contrary to what Josephine had reportedly told the police that she was provided with ante-natal care at the European Hospital.

Hospital records according to the police indicate that the last time she was at the hospital was in October 2020 and it was not a pregnancy related issue.

The police has indicated that, if the need arise for a third opinion to be sought on her case, considering the insistence by her family and friends that she was pregnant, that would be done.

Currently, her initial status as a victim has now changed to a suspect.

She is not the only suspect for now. Her husband, Michael Simmons and mother have also become suspects.

In a police statement issued Thursday, signed by the acting Director of Police Public Affairs, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Kwesi Ofori, the police confirmed that doctors at the Axim Government hospital after examining her have concluded that she was never pregnant.

The turn out of events is what has necessitated the psychiatric and clinical psychological care along side the police investigations.

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Below is a copy of the police statement issued on the case on Thursday, September 23, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

REAPPEARANCE OF MISSING "PREGNANT WOMAN" AT TAKORADI IN THE WESTERN REGION

  1. The Police in Takoradi in the Western Region can confirm the reappearance of one Josephine Panyin Mensah.
  2. On 21st September, 2021 at about 0930 hours when she reappeared, she was immediately sent to the Axim Government Hospital for medical attention. Wealso informed the family in line with our procedures.
  3. Since her disappearance, over 40 Police officers were specifically assigned to track the whereabouts of the victim and the family were given regular updates on Police operations regarding this issue.
  4. These Police operations with the associated investigations were carried out on a 24-hour basis and we want to commend the officers who have been working on the case for the commitment, including the sleepless nights they endured.
  5. Following her reappearance and on the basis of our preliminary investigations so far, the Police wishes to state the following:

a. The police is heavily relying on medical experts who have examined her.

Their findings are that Josephine Panyin Mensah was never pregnant within the period under review following thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital.

b. The victim, now a suspect, during interrogation mentioned the European Hospital in Takoradi as the hospital for her antenatal reviews and assessment.

Medical records at the facility suggest that the lady visited the hospital without pregnancy somewhere in October last year.

c. Investigations also suggest the suspect may have conspired with other
persons over her possible planned disappearance.

d. Three people have so far been arrested for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges.

e. Police would like to inform members of the public that adequate measures are in place to ensure she is safe as we continue our investigations.

6. More worrying is the fact that for a number of years, the Regional Command has recorded several false kidnapping cases where people conspire to create "self-kidnapping" incidents to make money out of ransoms.

7. A team with support from the National Headquarters has been put together to quell this emerging crime in the Western Region.

8. We wish to give the assurance that we will continue to revise our security strategies to protect the people of the Western Region and the rest of the country.

KWESI OFORI
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
AG. DIRECTOR-GENERAL, PUBLIC AFFAIRS