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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » JAMAICAN FAMILY OF SLAIN GIRL LOOKS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP, AFTER BEING DENIED VISA TO ATTEND FUNERAL!

JAMAICAN FAMILY OF SLAIN GIRL LOOKS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP, AFTER BEING DENIED VISA TO ATTEND FUNERAL!

By Amy B Wang, Washington Post—

 

On the day Kenroy Smith learned that his young daughter had been killed more than 2,000 miles from his home in Kingston, Jamaica, he turned to Facebook to unleash his crushing grief.

Father and slain daughter

Father and slain daughter

Why did they have to take her away from me Lord God help, he posted around noon, July 13, shortly after police discovered the body of 11-year-old AbbieGail Smith at her apartment building in New Jersey, where she lived with her mother. The girl had been fatally stabbed.

Hours later, Smith began posting pictures of the girl who had been his “angel,” his “princess.” There was AbbieGail sleeping as an infant. AbbieGail building a sand castle at the beach. AbbieGail dressed for Easter. Over the following week, the pictures gave way to song links and Bible verses. “Many Rivers to Cross.” Psalm 23. Psalm 51.

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With nearly every post, he asked the same question.

“Why they kill her for?” Smith wailed in a recent Facebook video, at times doubling over in pain. “Why why why? … Oh, God help me.”

This week, Smith said his family in Jamaica was sent reeling again when they learned that they might not be able to attend AbbieGail’s funeral in New Jersey on July 24.

The visa application for Kenish Smith, one of AbbieGail’s sisters, was rejected Wednesday without reason, while the visa application for Kenroy Smith “remained in limbo,” according to the Ashbury Park Press. Smith told the newspaper that he had been deported from the United States in 2001 after a marijuana-related arrest and was not sure whether he would be let into the country again.

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“AbbieGail Smith needs her sister there at the moment,” Kenish told the newspaper, adding she had cried after being denied a visa. “Who’s going to stand up for us? We have no control. We can’t do it on our own.”

Latisha Smith, another sister, told the Asbury Park Press that their father had a special bond with AbbieGail, who visited Jamaica frequently.

Desperate, the family has directed their case to President Trump, publicly pleading with him to intervene so they can attend AbbieGail’s funeral. Smith filmed a video, published online Thursday by the Ashbury Park Press, in which he wept and asked Trump to grant him a visa.

ken and daughter

“I am asking you, please, sir, if you could assist us by getting us to the United States of America to pay our last respects to AbbieGail Smith, who was gruesomely, brutally murdered,” Smith said in the video. “Please, we are asking you for your sympathy.”

In the video, Smith struggled to quantify his love for his daughter and his overwhelming pain.

“I can’t find one word to describe what is going on within my soul, my body, my mind, my everything,” Smith said in the video, breaking down in sobs. “She is God for me. My dear little AbbieGail was taken away, and I want to pay my last respect to her. Please, I’m asking her. Oh God. Oh. That’s all I’m asking, please, sir.”

Father looking to President Donald Trump for help

Father looking to President Donald Trump for help

The status of the Smith family’s visa applications is unclear. A representative for the State Department would not elaborate on why the applications had not been approved or answer other questions sent by email Friday.

“Visa records are confidential, and as such, I cannot comment further,” a State Department official said.

Smith did not respond to an interview request sent by Facebook message early Friday. He continued posting about his frustration throughout the day.

AbbieGail Smith was reported missing on the night of July 12 and had last been seen about 7:45 p.m. that Wednesday at the apartment building where she lived in Keansburg, a borough in northern New Jersey, police said.

Less than 24 hours later, her body was found wrapped in a blanket behind the apartment complex, according to a statement from Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. An autopsy later revealed AbbieGail had died of a stab wound to the neck, and her death was ruled a homicide.

11-y-o AbbyGail

11-y-o AbbyGail

The next day, Andreas Erazo, an 18-year-old man who lived in an apartment above AbbieGail’s, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in her killing.

At Erazo’s recent initial court appearance, AbbieGail’s mother yelled and pointed at him as he was led away, according tp the Newark Star-Ledger.

“You killed my daughter! I hope you rot in jail,” she shouted, according to the newspaper. “My one and only daughter. You need to rot in jail. You can’t even look at us!”

Gramiccioni told reporters last week that AbbieGail’s family and friends did not want to speak to the media and that there was no known motive for the crime.

“It’s an incredibly tragic day that we lost a lovely 11-year-old girl,” he added.

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GoFundMe account started to cover AbbieGail’s funeral expenses — and to help her mother to move out of the apartment building where her daughter was killed — had raised more than $8,000 as of Friday. The woman who started the account, Cecille Bennett, said she was AbbieGail’s aunt and lamented on the page that the girl had been “taken at the hands of a monster.”

AbbieGail’s father told the Asbury Park Press that he has not been at peace since last week.

“We are asking the lawmakers — it’s only for seven days,” he told the newspaper, of his desire to travel to the United States for the funeral. “I’m just asking you please, I want to know why he killed my child. I want to see where he took her. I want to see where he stabbed her. I want to see where he dumped her.”

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