The Kenyan community in Boston is reeling with shock once again as a 30 year old woman, Joanne Njeri Gitau was found dead in her apartment in Lowell, barely 2 weeks after a 23 year old Kenyan man passed away the nearby city of Worcester and is yet to be buried.
The shocking news of Njeri’s death hit her family hard, especially her mother, Frashia Gitau, who fainted upon learning of the passing of her only child. She was rushed to Lowell General Hospital for emergency care and released four hours later, close family friends told Ajabu Africa News.
Friends who rushed to the family’s home on Caddell street to console the family added that the mother is still in a state of deep shock and is unable to communicate, forcing family and friends to give her a round the company.
The late Njeri leaves behind her only child, an 8 year old daughter.
The devastating news are especially difficult for the family and Kenyan community in Boston to process especially since it was only last year that the family lost a 26 year old cousin who was in his final year of study for PhD in Chemistry at the University at Buffalo in New York, and was scheduled to be awarded the degree posthumously at a graduation event today in New York.
Sources said that a small contingent of family members took a flight yesterday to Buffalo for the event.
Details of the Njeri’s death remained sketchy and hard to get as her family was too distraught to comment of the death.
However, according close family friends, Njeri, popularly known as Jojo, was found dead by a family member who had gone to check on her around 6pm on Tuesday after she failed to pick up her daughter from school.
Sources told Ajabu Africa News that concerned school officials tried to reach the later Njeri on the phone to inquire why her daughter was not picked up at the end of the school day but she did not answer the call.
The school then reached her mother as the next of kin, but the mother was at work already, forcing her to send another family member to pick up the child.
Unfortunately, when the family member passed by the Late Njeri’s apartment to check on her, they saw her car parked outside but she would not respond to knocks o the door either.
“It was at this point that the family member called Lowell Police out of concern. When the police arrived, they broke into the apartment only to find the lifeless body of the late Kenyan,” said a source speaking to Ajabu News on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the situation.
“Initially, EMT crews performed CPR in an effort to resuscitate Njeri but soon they realized that she had already died. It was then determined that the situation had to change into a police criminal investigation and required the medical examiner to come before the body would be moved. Everyone is really shocked because Jojo was such a nice and happy person to be around,” added the source.
Contacted for more details, officers at the Lowell Police Department declined to shed more light into the circumstances of the death.
“We are unable to comment because the investigation into the death is ongoing,” an officer manning the desk at the Lowell Police Department told Ajabu Africa News.
However, several friends who knew her said that the late Njeri had been suffering from seizure episodes at home and sometimes in public places, often requiring help to recover.
It was not immediately clear whether the death was as a result of a seizure episode or a different cause with the office of the medical examiner declining to comment citing privacy concerns.
The late Njeri’s family has been very active members of the PCEA Neema church located half a mile away from the family’s main residence.
Friends and family are meeting for prayers and funeral arrangements at the family’s residence located at on 9 Caddell Avenue every day starting 6pm according to a WhatsApp announcement circulated on social media.
The death is the latest in a string of shocking deaths by young Kenyans in USA that have left many in the small but close knit community at a loss of words.
Two weeks ago, a 23 year old Kenyan man took his life after inhaling deadly chemicals he released inside his bedroom located in an attic at his father’s apartment in Worcester and is yet to be buried.
Reliable sources told Ajabu Africa News that the body of the Kenyan man was transported to the Funeral home in Lowell and is awaiting burial after a fundraiser scheduled for this Saturday.
A week prior to the Worcester death, another 25 year old Kenyan Ex-US military man died of suicide in Atlanta, GA, a city where more reports indicate that another young Kenyan woman had also committed suicide 2 months ago in December 2016.