Reporting Carol Erickson
By Carol Erickson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A family is in mourning after learning their relative was among those who perished in the Center City building collapse on Wednesday.
One of the six victims is 52-year-old Roseline Conteh, a mother of nine who loved her family and bargain hunting – a pastime that led her to go shopping on a beautiful Wednesday morning in Philadelphia.
The universal language of tears – and there are plenty of them in the small front yard in Kingsessing, from a family group that never expect to be gathering like this, until early Thursday, after Conteh never came home.
“I kept calling at least past 12 o’clock,” said a relative.
It was news her youngest son heard firsthand and had to deliver to family and friends at 3 a.m.
“My mother, she’s in the hospital, and then all I know is that she is dead,” said Aiah Gbessay, Conteh’s son.
The 19-year-old described himself to police as a child of a missing mother – his grief, so raw.
The family’s grief is still unfolding for the woman who worked as a certified nursing assistant. She came to America from Sierra Leone, West Africa, to better all of their lives.
“It is a big sacrifice when we come to this country. They did not come to America to die,” said Josephine Lamin, the victim’s niece.
“She was a mother to everybody. Very loving. What more can I say,” said a relative.
No word can describe their loss. They plan to return their mother’s body to West Africa, a country she left 10 years ago for America.