An American missionary was arrested in Liberia for the attempted murder of his second wife just weeks after she announced her pregnancy.
Jessica Lloyd’s family is further accusing the man – identified as Lucas Richard – of allegedly injecting the woman “with unknown drugs” that terminated her pregnancy.
After the arrest, the Liberia National Police began investigating Richard for his crimes against the Liberian woman.
Jessica survived the ordeal and is now telling her side of the story – which Richard denies, saying that Lloyd was simply hit by a motorcycle after she insisted on getting a ride home herself.
Initial report said that Lloyd was keeping her silence, but authorities managed to coax the story out of her.
Following Richard’s arrest, the Creekside Church that he was affiliated with made a statement that “Lucas is not a member of Creekside, but of a church in Liberia which he founded consisting of its own board of elders and accountability structure… an eyewitness from Liberia [said] that Lucas had in fact entered into a 2nd marriage with Jessica, which neither we nor his wife had any prior knowledge of.”
Lucas Richard was a missionary who married a Liberian woman – and now stands accused of attempting to kill her.
Jessica Lloyd ended up marrying an American missionary after the two crossed paths at the boarding school she attended.
In his statement to the police, Richard said that the victim had asked him for $150 (£119) to buy food at the local supermarket.
After shopping, he dropped her along the roadside so she could catch a motorbike that would take her back home.
“From there, we decided that I could drop her. She will get a motorbike while standing on the road. I saw a motorbike come from nowhere and hit her,” he said.
The victim vehemently denies this story and claims that her husband she “traditionally wedded” had attempted to kill her with a knife.
Richard, a Missionary of the Creekside Church, moved to Liberia with his American wife an unknown period of time ago.
Lloyd was attending the mission where Richard worked. He told her that his “wife was old” and he wanted to marry Lloyd, as a second wife.
Polygamous marriages account for a third of all marriages in Liberia, according to reports.
After Richard proposed marriage, Lloyd got permission from her parents to go ahead, and the two officially began their relationship.
“My daughter confided in me, and I suggested that we meet this man. She informed me that he was already married to an older woman. A week later, both of them came, and we held a traditional wedding ceremony.”
The mother went on to reveal that after the wedding, Lloyd returned to her boarding school.
“She later called me to express concerns about her pregnancy. I assured her we would visit the hospital upon her return to town. She confirmed that Richard was aware of the situation and was supportive.”
Apparently, issues arose when school authorities accused Lloyd of having an affair with Richard. “Richard informed us that he intended to find an apartment with all the necessary amenities before leaving for the United States.
I explained that finding an apartment might be challenging, but she could stay with us for the time being, and he could send the money when available.”
But Richard returned to the family home that evening. “He arrived that night, and Jessica handed him her medical records from ELWA Hospital, confirming her pregnancy.” From there, Lloyd says that Richard told her they were going out to “talk.” Instead, she woke up in a hospital.
“Before we could get out of the car, he took a big knife, saying that he was afraid of snakes and that, in case he saw one, we would kill it. So we got out of the car. He put the knife in his pocket after we got to the riverside.
The area was crowded, so he couldn’t do anything,” Lloyd said in her recount of the event for authorities.
“Later on, we went to some kind of bush area. He said he wanted to urinate. After urinating, he said he saw some kind of animal in the bush, but the knife was in his pocket. So he called me to come see. But I told him that I was scared.
So I just stood behind him. If I was going to get closer, he would have killed me right there, so I just stood behind him.
“When he finished urinating, I told him to wash his hands. Then we drove in front. He said he wanted to urinate again. So he said, ‘Stand behind me small.’
I stood behind him, but not too close, so when he finished, we got back into the car, went in front small, and passed by a cemetery.
“We went in front… and he said the car tire had a problem and he wanted to change the tire. So I said okay. I was sitting in the car at first and then he said, ‘Oh Jessica, I think you will need to help me,'” Lloyd said.
According to Lloyd, Richard brought out the metal tool used to loosen the bolts from the tire. Then he told her she had dirt in her hair.
“So, as he was cleaning it, I heard ‘boop’ —- I thought the car tire burst or current jerked me, so I fell on the ground and started jerking.
When I woke up, he pushed me back on the ground. That was when he took the knife and began cutting my neck,” Lloyd concluded.
The victim’s mother also accused Richard of ‘administering an injection’ that resulted in the termination of Jessica’s two-week pregnancy.
“He injected her, and shortly after, Jessica reported that her legs had weakened.
I immediately informed her father, and he asked if I was certain it was intentional. I was hesitant to believe it due to his seemingly caring behaviour.”
In a Facebook statement, the Creekside Church initially made a post that apparently got them in some hot water.
“On September 14th, Creekside was made aware of a situation involving one of the missionaries we support, Lucas Richard, in Liberia.
The information we received from his wife, who was serving with him in Liberia, was that Lucas was attacked and robbed, so we posted an urgent prayer request for our congregation.
News later broke that Lucas had been incarcerated and accused of the attempted murder and aggravated assault of a Liberian girl, Jessica Lloyd. He maintains his innocence.”
“Our social media post calling for prayer made it seem to the Liberian community that we are insensitive to the victim and appearing to defend the accused, and by extension dismiss his charges. This was not the case.
Prayer is our first priority when confronted with a situation such as this,” they explained.
They later added: “While there are many points of allegations we cannot confirm, since the extramarital relationship has been verified, this alone makes Lucas ineligible to represent our church or receive our support.”
Richards is detained at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police. They announced that ‘the public can be assured that justice will be served.’
The Creekside Church said in their statement that they are remaining in contact with Liberian authorities and will continue to help in whatever way they can.
By Yelena Mandenberg Mirror News Reporter