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Agencies disagree over who should investigate Fort Wayne man's death

The body of a Fort Wayne man found in an Ohio river this spring has been returned to the family.

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 9:48 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2019 11:39 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Kathryn Mbwelera returned from Ohio with her son's body Tuesday.

"It was a very terrible feeling. It was a sickening feeling that had physical manifestations in my body,"she said.

The Defiance County Sheriff confirmed this week that the body of 26-year-old Jabari Mbwelera was recovered from the Maumee River in May.

ORIGINAL: DEFIANCE COUNTY DEPUTIES ASKING FOR HELP IDENTIFYING BODY

Jabari's mother said her family didn't learn of the discovery until recently, but once they did they immediately knew it was him.

"We never heard about it in May, June, July. It wasn't until this month last week the attorney general and the lieutenant in Defiance said 'Hey we're not getting anywhere on this case, let's put this out there'. As soon as they did, the next day, I was able to call and let them know that was my son," Mbwelera said.

RELATED: AUTHORITIES ID BODY FOUND IN MAUMEE RIVER AS MISSING FORT WAYNE MAN

Jabari was last seen by his family on Jan. 16, which is the same day he was involved in a fight in Fort Wayne.

Before his death he sent a series of text messages to them from the Lassus Handy Dandy on 1630 Spy Run Ave. 

Spy Run is walking distance from the Maumee River – which flows northeast into Ohio.

"We are pretty sure it will turn from being a missing person to a homicide because we are convinced that someone threw our son in The Maumee River, " she explained.

Defiance County Sheriff's investigators said they've turned the case over to Fort Wayne Police, but Fort Wayne Police said all they have is a missing person's report and it should be Defiance County's investigation because that's where the body was found.

Mbwelera said both agencies should be involved.

"I'm going to hold both agencies responsible because the case is not closed. We're still waiting on toxicology reports, all kind of reports," she added.

Defiance County Sheriff's Office was not available for comment Tuesday.

Funeral services will be at Abundant Love Church at 2615 New Haven Ave. Friday at 11 a.m.

His mother said all are welcome.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 767409

Reported Deaths: 13980
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1054251805
Lake569191030
Allen42938698
St. Joseph37313568
Hamilton37298426
Elkhart29749470
Tippecanoe23479230
Vanderburgh23201405
Porter19573327
Johnson18822392
Hendricks18072321
Madison13548346
Clark13533198
Vigo12834256
LaPorte12566225
Monroe12546178
Delaware11143198
Howard10672237
Kosciusko9777124
Hancock8740150
Bartholomew8262157
Warrick8069157
Floyd8027182
Grant7366181
Wayne7233201
Boone7184105
Morgan6910143
Marshall6332116
Dubois6274118
Cass6090111
Dearborn601278
Noble599290
Henry5947111
Jackson516377
Shelby510898
Lawrence4922127
Gibson462696
Montgomery458192
Clinton455255
DeKalb455285
Harrison453577
Whitley415745
Huntington415582
Steuben410660
Miami405573
Jasper401155
Knox388391
Putnam385062
Wabash369083
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White339654
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Washington254037
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Orange191156
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Blackford138032
Pulaski123648
Newton123036
Benton109715
Brown106043
Crawford105616
Martin92515
Warren87715
Switzerland8348
Union73610
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1123964

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1304331493
Cuyahoga1172542263
Hamilton824421261
Montgomery535421062
Summit489021014
Lucas43747834
Butler40000614
Stark33837939
Lorain26029510
Warren24919312
Mahoning22710613
Lake21472396
Clermont20391261
Delaware19143138
Licking16863227
Trumbull16801492
Fairfield16793207
Medina15861276
Greene15528254
Clark14352308
Portage13432218
Wood13343201
Allen12049245
Richland11740213
Miami11019228
Wayne9258228
Columbiana9204236
Muskingum9133137
Pickaway8750123
Tuscarawas8718255
Marion8710140
Erie8135166
Ashtabula7281179
Hancock7048135
Ross7024165
Geauga6962153
Scioto6701108
Belmont6222179
Lawrence5947104
Union590949
Jefferson5725162
Huron5638122
Sandusky5488130
Darke5444131
Seneca5377128
Washington5371111
Athens526960
Auglaize507487
Mercer491185
Shelby482797
Knox4614113
Madison447566
Ashland444898
Defiance438799
Fulton436375
Putnam4354104
Crawford4114111
Brown409662
Preble3949107
Logan392179
Clinton390766
Ottawa375881
Highland366068
Williams356678
Champaign349660
Guernsey330554
Jackson321354
Perry298850
Morrow294743
Fayette289150
Hardin279365
Henry277167
Coshocton272961
Holmes2725102
Van Wert252265
Adams249858
Gallia249850
Pike244737
Wyandot235257
Hocking222963
Carroll201249
Paulding179942
Meigs151240
Monroe137945
Noble137739
Harrison115238
Morgan111624
Vinton87317
Unassigned04
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