Family of Connecticut Lawyer, Gugsa Abraham Dabela, Still Searches for Answers More Than a Year Later

Gugsa Abraham “Abe” Dabela   UNDATED FAMILY PHOTO
Gugsa Abraham “Abe” Dabela

It’s been some 17 months since Gugsa Abraham Dabela was found dead by a Redding, Conn., roadside. By all accounts, just hours before his body was found, Dabela was hanging out with friends, having a good time and handing out business cards for his new law practice. 

His family has been reeling in the aftermath; questions don’t seem to have straightforward answers, and facts don’t add up. In a heartfelt appeal to the public, last month the “Justice 4 Abe” website was launched, hoping to get people, especially people in Redding, thinking.

“We’re hoping that putting the information online on a website where, perhaps most importantly, people in Redding know what happened … will get people thinking and remembering back to that night,” Dabela’s older sister Albab tells The Root. “So that we can get more facts in front of the authorities that are trying to figure out what happened to my brother.”

Some five hours after Gugsa Dabela, a charismatic Ethiopian-American private attorney, was found the early morning of April 5, 2014, in his overturned vehicle with a gunshot wound to his head, Redding investigators ruled the death a suicide. The family is not certain, however, if that is the case.

“The information that’s been processed by the various crime labs and the police etc., they just raise more questions than actually bring answers,” Albab Dabela says. “The classification of his death as a suicide happened five hours after he was allegedly found by the police, and they’ve conducted a suicide investigation almost to confirm their assumption, but the actual facts … don’t seem to support a suicide conclusion.”

Albab Dabela remembers a fun-loving younger brother who lived on his own terms and was an outspoken person who wouldn’t back down in conversations. Gugsa Dabela loved his motorcycle and built close friends around the hobby. He strongly believed in the Second Amendment and was licensed to carry a gun. He had a girlfriend and knew how to treat women, being the middle child of five siblings consisting of four girls, all of whom were extremely close. That’s why, Albab Dabela says, it hurts to think that Redding police would suggest that the vibrant young man would kill himself.

The family is using the website as a means of listing as many points of questioning as it can, given that the case remains an open investigation, along with providing the documentation it has to support the framework of its questions.

One example, Albab Dabela offers, was that last year, the state crime lab excluded her brother as a contributor to the DNA recovered from the gun, particularly the trigger of the gun. That means there is no physical evidence to support that “Abe,” as Gugsa Dabela was affectionately called, was the last person who fired his gun or that it was his gun that actually ended his life.

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Source: The Root | BREANNA EDWARDS

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