Information has emerged that the Liberian man who took Ebola to America was in the country to marry his fiance.
MailOnline reports that Thomas Eric Duncan(pictured) was to wed, an American-Liberian Louise Troh in a ceremony which would have paved the way to him staying in the U.S. permanently – and escape his native Liberia.
Mark Wingfield, associate pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church, told MailOnline: ‘Louise told our senior pastor on Thursday that Mr. Duncan had come to the US to marry her and start a new life.
‘Those are her words to describe the situation’
Until that point he had not even heard of Duncan and there were no plans he was aware of for a wedding, he added.
The revelation may explain why Duncan, who was exposed to Ebola days before he was due to travel to the U.S. when he helped a sick woman who later died, lied on a form to get out of Liberia.
Duncan replied ‘no’ when he filled out a form asking if he had been exposed to the Ebola virus before he boarded the plane in Liberia. He now faces prosecution there.
Until three years ago he had been living in a refugee camp in Ghana because he was unable to return home due to a civil war in Liberia – and on his arrival just about scraped a living tinkering with cars and bartering.
Duncan arrived in the U.S. on September 20 and is believed to have come on a tourist visa in what was his first trip to America.
Up to 100 people including five schoolchildren were exposed to him while he was infected – health authorities in Texas now say that 10 people are of particular concern.
An email about his marriage was also sent to the congregation of the Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, where Troh is a member, by senior pastor George Mason.
It read: ‘Louise and other members of her extended family are in isolation now because of their contact with Mr. Duncan.
You can imagine how frightening this must be for all of them, mixed with the sadness of Mr. Duncan’s diagnosis.’
Duncan, 42, and Troh, 54, appear to have a relationship of some king going back many years and have at least one child together.
Duncan had good reason to escape his life in Libera – it is ground zero for the worst outbreak of Ebola in history which has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Duncan has also suffered personal tragedy and one of his brothers recently died too.
According to the New York Times he spent the last year working as a driver for a cargo company until he suddenly quit on September 4 after a visit from his sister.
Troh, a caregiver, arrived in the US in the late 1990s from Liberia and settled in Massachusetts where her immediate family still live.
She got a social security number and has dozens of immediate and extended family members in America stretching from Maryland to Minnesota.
She married her ex-husband Joe Joe Jallah though they have now divorced.
Troh has been living in the Ivy Apartments, a run-down complex of homes in the suburb of North Dallas.
Mr Wingfield said that Troh joined the church a year ago and that she was a ‘loved’ member of the congregation.
He said that she and some of her family were regular attendees at an adult Bible studies class on Sunday mornings, where she had made lots of friends.
Mr Wingfield described Troh as the ‘matriarch’ of a large number of her family and said that she was ‘at the centre of that network’.
He said: ‘If anything happened to her it would be devastating to that entire family’.
The area is home to many immigrants and dozens of languages are spoken in the area.
Residents told MailOnline that gangs were a problem and that people moved in and out every few months with little sense of community.
Troh appears to have been a regular visit to Liberia and on her Facebook page ‘checked in’ as being into Monrovia as recently as August 11.
According to visapro.com it is possible to marry on a tourist visa but there are a number of issues.
If somebody in such a position gets married within 30 days of arriving in the US it is frowned upon by the authorities.
However even if Duncan’s application would have been denied the marriage would have bought him months in the US whilst it was processed.
Visapro says: ‘Once you have married and filed for adjustment of status you will not be able to leave the US until you apply for and receive advance parole or your green card.
‘If you leave the country before receiving one of these two documents, you will not be allowed to re-enter the US.’