“I strongly believe that he was attacked. The forensic evidence would be there. If you fell down on the side of the curb or something, there would be a piece of hair, or blood,” says Edward’s brother, Peter Okeny.
But there is no forensic evidence, Ridge says. “The police department is at the mercy of one of two things,” he says. “One is the Medical Examiner’s Office being able to tell us definitively the mechanism by which he received the head injury, and we don’t think that they can. They don’t think that they can at this point. They’re still running tests on some things, but it’s almost entirely possible that they can’t do that. The second thing that we’re dependent upon is somebody saying to us, ‘I know what happened.’ Either ‘I was there,’ or ‘I saw something,’ or ‘I talked to somebody who saw something,’ and we don’t have any of that.”
“No one has come to this police department to say either ‘I know what happened to him,’ or ‘I know someone who knows what happened to him.’ No one has said that,” Ridge says, before commenting on how that was the strangest aspect of it all: “Nothing happens in this city without someone seeing it. Someone looking out a window. Someone driving by in a car.”
That is exactly why the Sudanese community and others thought the police would have gone right to the media.
In the meantime, there is little progress. Ridge says the police department is in “constant contact” with Edward’s father, Kenneth Okeny. But the day before, Kenneth had told the Phoenix he had heard nothing from the police for almost a week and a half. (Other family members support Kenneth's account.)
Chris Okeny explained the family’s position. “We should be updated daily so that we would feel like they are really going to get to the case. But if we don’t hear from them, we might feel like nobody is doing anything. We need to see, what step are (the police) in?” Lakoke agreed, saying, “We need answers here as to what caused the death of Edward. We know something happened to him that killed him, but we as a family, as a community, need answers, and nobody is doing enough to give us answers. I know that it is a very difficult job for the detectives and the police department to find evidence, but we do see that they are not doing enough.”
The police, who have twice canvassed the neighborhood where Okeny was found, now hope the tissue tests the Medical Examiner’s Office are running will determine how Edward came to suffer the blow on the back of his head. According to Ridge, they might hear back tomorrow, or it might take six weeks.
That isn’t good news, according to Kenneth Okeny, who worries the trail explaining his son's death will go cold. “All we want is for the media to say that if anybody has information on this case, they need to tell the police,” he says. “I think it’s going to be difficult for them to do their job, to crack the case, without someone who knows something coming forward, and the media is one way to let people know that they can come forward to the police safely. They need to work really hard on this case, because the longer it takes, the less likely it is that they can crack it, and that’s what’s important.”