Kenyan woman Dorothy Ong'era reburied in Texas, US

Dorothy Bosibori Ongera

Dorothy Bosibori Ongera (left) and Obadiah Kinara in a file picture in Dallas, Texas. Dorothy died in an accidental drowning on December 17, 2020. 

Photo credit: Pool

About three weeks after her body was exhumed for a post-mortem, the remains of Dorothy Ong'era were reburied in Texas USA on Friday, bringing to an end one of the longest burial disputes involving Kenyan immigrants abroad.

Dorothy, a mother of six was reburied at a cemetery in Emerald Hills Funeral Home, Kennedale City, Texas.

The ceremony was attended by her father, David Ong'era, some of her siblings and friends.

"I thank God that we finally interred her remains. It has been a long journey, but it's partly over," said Mr Ong'era.

He said many people across the state followed the burial ceremony online.

"It was streamed on Youtube, Facebook and Zoom. A big number of friends and relatives also attended physically," said Mr Ong'era.

He said the burial committee members were drawn from across the Texas state.

Dorothy Ong'era

Mr David Ong’era viewing the body of his daughter Dorothy Ong'era.

Photo credit: Pool

Ms Ong'era’s body was found in a bathtub one year ago. Her father called for a post-mortem to establish the cause of her death.

Before an independent post-mortem was conducted, Mr Obadiah Kinara, the man she lived with, opposed the move and secretly buried her remains without involving her parents, who also live in the same area.

Mr Ong'era, moved to court and successfully argued for an exhumation of her daughter’s body for another autopsy. 

Mr Kinara opposed the case, leading to a protracted court battle lasting about one year. Last month, a Texas court ordered the body exhumed and handed over to Mr Ong’era, with the judge directing that he (Ong’era) had the right to determine where to rebury his daughter’s remains.

But Mr Kinara this week unsuccessfully tried to halt the reburial proceedings by moving to court.

Dorothy Ong'era's burial service

Family and friends during Dorothy Ong'era's burial service in Kennedale City, Texas on December 17, 2021. 

Photo credit: Pool

“He got another lawyer. He applied for another hearing, but the motion was not set. Nothing came out..... so we went ahead with Dorothy's burial," said Mr Ong'era.

He further noted that postmortem results are not yet out but they are likely to pick them early next week.

"The toxicology extermination delayed the whole issue of post-mortem. But everything is on course," said Mr Ong'era.


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