Minnesota dad charged with killing wife, 2 kidsby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Ramsey County authorities have charged a Vadnais Heights man with killing two of his children and his wife earlier this week, after what may have been years of domestic abuse.
Justus Kebabe, 43, is being held on three counts of second degree murder after his arrest on Thursday. Prosecutors could pursue first-degree murder charges later.
Kebabe was found near his stalled car on Interstate 35, apparently fleeing the scene of the crime. Police eventually traced his path back to his apartment, where they found his 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter dead, as well as their 32-year-old mother.
According to the complaint:
Kebabe and his wife, Bilha Omare argued Monday morning after Kebabe accused her of having an extramarital affair. He said he hit her in the head with a golf club and later admitted strangling her, as well. He hid her body in a bathroom.
He told police that he tried to drug his children with a sleeping aid after they returned home from school. He said that when his son got in the tub to take a bath, he drowned the boy, even as Kinley Ogendi was shouting "Stop, daddy, stop."
Kebabe then went into another bedroom, found his daughter groggy but awake, and tried to smother her with a pillow. The complaint says he told police he also strangled her with his hands.
Kebabe's relatives told police that he called them, distraught and threatening suicide. He was seen on a camera leaving the apartment building Wednesday afternoon and spotted beside the freeway about 10 p.m. by a state trooper, who took him into custody for suspected driving under the influence.
Kebabe told the trooper he'd taken a large amount of an over-the-counter sleep aid. Authorities found his partially-nude 4-year-old daughter near Kebabe's car, in the care of several passersby.
Back in Vadnais Heights, relatives had called authorities and asked them to check on Kebabe and his family, and deputies responding to the call found the three victims of the slaying.
Kebabe was arrested in 2008 after threatening to beat his wife with a vacuum cleaner and kill her. She told police Kebabe had even beaten her unconscious and threatened to kill her.
Kebabe is being held at the Ramsey County jail.