The mysterious disappearance and death of Sudanese refugee Dau Mabil in Mississippi

Dau Mabil, who as a child escaped war-torn Sudan and built a new life in Mississippi, tragically met his end when fishermen discovered his body floating in a river. This distressing incident has sparked demands for a federal investigation into his disappearance and subsequent death.

Mabil, who resided in Jackson with his wife, disappeared during the day on March 25th while taking a walk on a trail that connects the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to various city landmarks. His brother, Bul Mabil, expressed skepticism regarding the preliminary autopsy findings released on Thursday, in which the sheriff stated that no evidence of foul play was discovered.

Bul Mabil expressed his dissatisfaction with the way authorities have handled the case.

In an interview with The Associated Press, he expressed disbelief that such a situation would occur to someone who had come from a war-torn country. He had high expectations of the government in this country, but was disappointed by the way the United States operates, finding it appalling.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, whose district encompasses Jackson, has written a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation. Thompson’s office received reports from civil rights organizations regarding the case. In his letter, Thompson described Mabil as an “African male” who is married to Karissa Bowley, a white female.

Dau Mabil, who was caught on a surveillance camera walking near the trail, had his family and concerned citizens searching for him for weeks. Bul Mabil, his brother, immediately rushed to Jackson from Houston upon receiving the devastating news of his brother’s death. Determined to find answers, Bul Mabil took matters into his own hands and collaborated with the Capitol Police, a state law enforcement agency operating in part of Jackson.

Bowley actively organized rallies and conducted information campaigns to raise awareness about her missing husband, actively seeking the public’s assistance in locating him. However, she declined to comment when contacted via text or phone call.

On April 13, fishermen made a chilling discovery in Lawrence County’s Pearl River, approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of Jackson. They came across a body, which was later identified as Dau Mabil.

Bul Mabil expressed the devastating impact of his brother’s death on both himself and his mother, who continues to reside in a refugee camp.

Dau Mabil and his brothers were part of the wave of young refugees who were brought to the United States during the violent civil war in their home country. Upon their arrival, Julie Hines Mabus, the former wife of ex-Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus, established a foundation to assist these children in finding stability in Jackson. Mabil was known for his gentle demeanor, always wearing a smile and a sparkle in his eyes.

“It was a true miracle for us to get here, and for Bul to bring his brother along was even more extraordinary,” expressed Hines Mabus in an interview with the AP. “It felt like a homecoming. And now, witnessing Bul go through this heartbreaking situation with his brother is truly devastating.”

Bowley’s attorney expressed their client’s acceptance of the judge’s order for an additional autopsy in a later court filing. However, they specified that the autopsy should only take place once all law enforcement agencies have completed their investigations.

Bul Mabil raised questions about a statement made by Lawrence County Sheriff Ryan Everett regarding the initial autopsy findings. Everett stated that there was no evidence of foul play, but further testing may be necessary before an official conclusion can be reached.

Bul Mabil’s lawyers expressed their hope for an independent autopsy to be conducted within the next week.

Bul Mabil expressed his dissatisfaction with the investigation conducted by Capitol Police, describing it as “insufficient.” According to Carlos Tanner, one of his attorneys, Mabil’s client has been kept in the dark regarding the suspicious circumstances surrounding his brother’s disappearance and subsequent death.

Vallena Greer, a resident of Jackson, had the privilege of taking in and raising Dau Mabil, who flourished in his new environment. Not only did he excel in his English language skills, earning an award at school for his remarkable improvement, but he also showcased his talent as a gifted soccer player.

Dau Mabil was employed as a manager at a Jackson restaurant when he went missing. He had aspirations of furthering his education by pursuing a computer science degree.

Bul Mabil expressed his thoughts on the matter, stating, “He did well for what America wants immigrants to be. We called Mississippi our second home. We didn’t know something like this would happen to one of us.”

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MBS Staff
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