On Friday, police found Michele’s corpse with four other bodies dumped outside a kindergarten school. Fighting back tears, Deborah Ngoh Tonye described what was left of her sister’s gruesome corpse. Someone had removed Michele’s genitals, tongue, eyes, hair, and breasts.
Michele’s bizarre murder is believed to be part of a wave of killings linked to occult rituals that has triggered panic in Yaounde, the capital city of more than 2 million people in the West African nation of Cameroon.
In the past two weeks police have found 18 bodies dumped along the streets. Authorities said all of the bodies had been mutilated. Officials have not said if the female victims among the 18 bodies had been raped.
No one has been charged with the crimes. There is suspicion it may be related to magic rituals. In some parts of Africa, traditional healers claim that body parts have mystical powers. The organs may be used in occult rituals to gain wealth and luck. The article also notes that the ritual killings were a common cultural practice in Cameroon until about the 1970′S. Education about the practice was instituted but this crime spree may represent a resurgence. Regardless of the motive, these killings are causing concern about security.