Body of Kenyan woman buried ‘secretly’ by lover in US exhumed
After months of twists and turns on the feud over the death and “secret burial” of a Kenyan woman in Dallas, Texas in December, her body has been exhumed following a court order.
Dorothy Bosibori Ongera, 35, was buried by her partner in the US on December 28 after she accidentally drowned at home.
On Friday, a US court in Tarrant County, Texas issued the order following a petition filed by her father David Ongera.
At the time, Ms Bosibori, a mother of six, was living with Obadiah Kinara, with whom she had three children.
Last month, the father narrated to a US court his anguish on how his daughter’s remains were secretly sneaked from a morgue and buried at Emerald Hills Memorial Park in the US without their permission.
In the case that was streamed worldwide via YouTube and Facebook, Mr Ongera asked for orders to exhume the body for an independent autopsy to establish the cause of her death.
The judge, during the hearing of the case, barred parties from interfering with her remains until the matter is determined.
“After the exhumation, there is no person with the powers to direct the cemetery as to the disposition and whether or not an autopsy shall be performed,” the court-ordered.
A hearing to determine who has the right to bury the deceased will commence on March 23.
The family questioned the motive of Bosibori’s partner for secretly burying her body in a public cemetery, saying he had no legal rights to do so as he was not the next of kin or husband.
Ongera said Mr Kinara had no legal right to bury her daughter’s remains as the two had no legally recognisable relationship accusing him of isolating them from burial arrangements.
“The only time I saw my daughter was on December 16th. I was never allowed to view her body. All family members, including her children, were barred from the burial ceremony,” Mr Ongera told the court.
In an interview with Nation last month, Kinara dismissed claims that he had a hand in her death, saying pathologists concluded that her death was due to accidental drowning.
Mr Kinara said he took the decision to go public because of “a campaign to portray me as a murderer despite no active investigation by law enforcement agencies”
“I loved my wife and I’ve been deeply hurt and affected by the social media campaign orchestrated by my in-laws to create the impression that I had something to do with the death,” said Mr Kinara.
“I believe some people are doing this because they are targeting my children and the insurance payouts,” he added.
The US laws only recognise Mr Kinara as Ms Ongera’s next of kin regardless of marital status because they have three children and lived together until her death.
The death has since become an international social media sensation because her father and other family members dispute the circumstances surrounding her sudden death and burial.
They accuse Mr Kinara of allegedly attempting to cover up her death by “hastily” having her buried “without our knowledge”.