Business activities at Bechem, the capital of the Tano South District of the Brong Ahafo Region, came to a standstill Thursday when hundreds of curious residents trooped to the outskirts of the town to catch a glimpse of the body of a beheaded boy.
The body of eight-year-old Primary Two schoolboy, Emmanuel Adjei, alias Koo Emma, allegedly murdered by Thomas Frimpong, a farm labourer, lay in a dense thicket of palm trees.
After that dastardly act, Frimpong, a native of Breme, near Bechem, was said to have offered the severed head for sale at Sefwi Dadieso in the Western Region.
He was later arrested by the Sefwi Police and sent to Bechem Thursday under heavy security guard and taken to the crime scene, where the body of the boy was found in its early stages of decomposition.
When this reporter got to the scene at 1:30p.m., Koo Emma's headless body lay in the bush, with the uncontrollable crowd making frantic attempts to catch a glimpse of it.
In spite of the uncomfortable stench from the decomposing body the people refused to move away from the bushy area and stood there in disbelief, with some trying desperately to hold back their tears, while others heaped curses on Frimpong calling for his skin.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Osei Sekyere Bota, who also rushed to the scene, described the act as "very horrible, unbelievable and very callous", adding, "You can't believe what people are looking for these days."
Those who knew Koo Emma described him as very calm and always willing to run errands for other people.
When the Daily Graphic got to the deceased's family house where the DCE and the District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Samuel Obeng-Kyere, had gone to sympathise with the bereaved family, a large crowd was present to express their condolence.
Koo Emma's mother, Madam Akua Adutwumwaa, a petty trader, was in pensive mood and could not answer any of the questions posed to her.
Mr Paul Amoako, a member of the family, told this reporter that he had engaged the suspect on his cocoa farm just last Thursday and described Frimpong as quiet and unassuming.
The police commander indicated that Koo Emma's mother and two other men had gone to the police at 8.00 p.m. on Sunday to report of their missing male child.
According to DSP Obeng-Kyere, Koo Emma and Frimpong were seen together last Sunday morning and alleged that Frimpong had been telling some people that he was looking for something and that as soon as he was through, he would leave for Sefwi that evening.
He further alleged that Frimpong had indicated to the people that he would return from Sefwi with a BMW car.
The police officer said it was after Frimpong had left and Koo Emma was nowhere to be found at 4.00 p.m. that the people became suspicious and started looking for him.
He said some of the family members decided to inform the presiding member of the Tano South District Assembly, who advised them to report the matter to the police.
According to the police officer, information reached his outfit that someone had been arrested in the Sefwi area with a human head.
DSP Obeng-Kyere indicated that based on the information, he dispatched one of his men to the area last Monday and it was confirmed that Frimpong was, indeed, in police custody and that he had confessed to committing the offence.
He said the suspect further directed the police to the thicket where he had left the body after he had chopped off the head.
The police are continuing with investigations. According to the Tarkwa Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Daniel Sampanah, Frimpong took the severed head to Dadieso near Enchi in the Western Region and was looking for a buyer when he was arrested.
He said Frimpong had approached a mechanic in the town and offered to pay him ¢5 million if he could drive him across the border to Cote d'Ivoire.
The commander said the mechanic became interested and asked Frimpong to wait for a while as he repaired his vehicle.
He said Frimpong kept pressurizing the mechanic to hasten with the maintenance of the vehicle.
Chief Supt Sampanah said the mechanic became suspicious and requested to know the kind of business Frimpong was into.
The divisional commander said Frimpong then confided in the mechanic that he had a human head for sale and wanted to sell it across the border.
He said the mechanic told Frimpong that he could arrange for the sale of the head at Dadieso and asked him to relax while he (the mechanic) went to town to bring a potential buyer for negotiations.
The mechanic then went to the police to lodge a complaint and Frimpong was arrested.