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Family’s agony as kin killed in U.S

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Sungi, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Sungi

    Sungi Senior Member

    Sep 5, 2009
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
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    Mr George Onyango's wife, the late Betty, and their sons, David (left) and Abraham.

    Posted Friday, September 4 2009 at 22:30

    In Summary
    When Mr George Onyango left Kenya for America four years ago, he did not know that delinquent teenagers would not only kill his dream but also take his life.His Kenyan family, which he left behind to pursue his dream, is now struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. The killing has rendered his two children orphans.


    Mr Onyango, who was killed by two teenagers in the US last week.

    Mr Onyango, 43, was an overnight counsellor at Yucaipa, a home for delinquent youths in California. He was attacked by two youths under his care with a steam iron and a wooden rod after he denied them permission to leave the place. The two youths tied him up and left him brain-damaged and paralysed, according to The Press-Enterprise, a local newspaper quoting police.

    According to his elder brother, Mr Kennedy Omondi, Mr Onyango won a US green card, leading to his move to America in 2006. But a few months after the family settled in Yucaipa, his wife, Beatrice, fell ill and died, leaving him a widower and a single father of two boys, now aged 11 and 13 years.

    Troubled youths

    After the death of his wife, Mr Onyango turned his energies to caring for his sons and working part-time as a counsellor at night at a home for troubled youths. During the day he took courses for the California State Bar examination.

    "This has left the family devastated. Nobody expected this to happen so soon after he lost his wife. We are yet to come to terms with the terrible news," Mr Omondi told the Saturday Nation.

    Ten days ago, according to US law enforcement officials, two youths beat Mr Onyango unconscious at the home after he refused to give one of them a pass to leave the place. On Saturday, he was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he later died of the injuries he sustained.

    The two youths charged with the killing - Carlos Dubose, 17, of Oakland, and Davion Whitmore, 16, of Long Beach - probably have no idea that not one life but many were shattered by their crime.

    For Mr Onyango's two children and family back in Kenya, their atrocious act defies comprehension. "We cannot understand why he had to die such a cruel death," said Mr Omondi.

    After the attack, the assailants, who now face murder charges, fled in Onyango's car. Police officers chased them up to Fontana, where they crashed and were captured. Before the fateful day, Mr Omondi spoke with his brother on Friday and chatted a lot about their local church in Central Asembo, Rarieda District.

    "He asked how the local church was doing. We didn't chat about other things," said Mr Omondi.

    Mr Onyango was a member of the Kenyan American Association and sat on the council and constitutional committee of the Kingdom Inter-denominational Community Church in San Bernardino.

    Mr Onyango was to graduate with a Masters degree in law in December. Before he left Kenya, he had been a high school teacher and also had earned a law degree.

    "He didn't plan to stay long in America, preferring to work for not more than five years before returning home. All this is lost," said Mr Omondi.
    The family plans to airlift the body and the children but is facing financial challenges.

    Mr Omondi estimates that they need about Sh1.5 million to send one member to the US and bring the body.

    The savage beating of Mr Onyango brought into the spotlight once again the practice in California and other states of sending youth offenders from elsewhere to live in unsuspecting neighbourhoods.People are angry with the authorities who continue to house juvenile offenders from other parts of the state.

    Media reports suggest that state authorities won't talk specifically about the youths accused of the assault. But placing them away from their home counties didn't keep them away from bad influences.

    Source: Nation
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2009