Police in Jersey city, New Jersey, have launched investigations into the circumstances leading to the death of a Kenyan man whose body was found hanging on a tree in one of the city’s parks.
On Tuesday, the body of Jeffrey Kililibwa, 61, was discovered dangling from a tree by a passerby in Lafayette Park.
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman, Gene Rubino, told a media briefing that Jersey City Police received a call from a woman taking her morning walk near Lafayette Park who said she saw a man hanging from a tree.
“Police arrived at scene and discovered a Kenyan man in his 60s suspended from the tree on the west side of the park,” Rubino said. “He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” added Rubino.
Although the police said they did not suspect foul play in the death, pressure is mounting from the Kenyan Community in New Jersey who want full investigations carried out saying the manner in which Mr Kilibwa died was suspect. “His hands were bound with a rope. That’s not how people hang themselves. We must know the truth,” said Nelson Mogesha, long time friend of the deceased.
It has also emerged that a day before he died, Mr Kilibwa had been held at a New Jersey police station after being found walking the city streets in what his friend described as “a confused state of mind”.
And according to Mr Mogesha, the deceased had just been relieved of his job in a city mall and this weighed heavily on him. “He was not himself. I think there were other issues but the loss of his job was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Mogesha.
Police at the Livingstone Police station, where Kilibwa was held, are looking for a woman whom they say is the acquaintance who came for him. “She is a person of interest as she introduced herself as his friend and the police released him to her,” said Mogesha.
The latest incident comes only days after a 33-year-old Kenyan man shot dead his mother in law before turning the gun on himself in Bethlehem, Georgia.
In the same week, 21-year-old Felix Achoch died from injuries inflicted in a beating by several assailants in the US city of Indianapolis, Indiana.
And early last week, a 32-year-old Kenyan man died after being shot in mysterious circumstances in Dallas, Texas.