Former child soldier in Liberia and US Army vet found dead in car trunk

January 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Once a child slave in his native Liberia, Dardar Paye grew up to be a US Army vet and a convicted felon. But Paye’s life took one final, violent turn when his body was found in the trunk of one of three vehicles that cops chased from Trenton into Bucks County PA. “He came from an incredibly horrible and violent life, beginning from the moment of his birth right up until his death,” said Paye’s immigration lawyer, Craig Shagin. Paye, 33, of Maplewood, NJ, was found dead of a gunshot wound in the trunk of a Buick sedan, police said. At the time of his death, Paye was facing deportation felony gun-trafficking and marijuana charges, Shagin said. Paye came to the country from war-torn Liberia when he was 13, after being enslaved as a child soldier. After just 5 years in this country and with a green card in his possession, Paye became a soldier again – this time willingly – when he signed up for the Army. He was deployed to Kuwait and Kosovo and was honorably discharged in 2001. “I think a lot of immigrants like the idea of being an American soldier,” Shagin said. “It makes them feel more a part of a country they weren’t born into.” Sometime after his discharge, though, Paye was arrested on the charges, found guilty and served time in prison, although he maintained his innocence to the end, Shagin said. Paye had served his time but remained in the country while he fought deportation. (


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