A Kenyan family in North Carolina, USA, is mourning the loss of a relative who has been gruesomely murdered at her place of work.
On Tuesday afternoon, according to local media outlets, a patient at the Freedom House Recovery Center in the city of Durham fatally stabbed June Onkundi, a mental health nurse practitioner.
The incident happened in her own office, according to reports.
Onkundi’s relatives informed WRAL News that she had been employed by the center, which offers care to those who are battling addiction or mental health problems, for roughly three months before she passed away.
Just after 1:40 on Tuesday, according to the Durham Police Department, police were dispatched to the scene.
When they got there, they realized that June had been stabbed; she was then transported to the hospital, where she eventually passed away from her wounds.
When police came, the suspect, James Gomes, 47, was still present and was taken into prison. He is accused of first-degree murder.
At the age of 19, Onkundi immigrated from Kenya to the United States and began working as a nurse. She leaves behind a husband and four children under the age of Sixteen.
“June was a loving mother. A devoted wife. A hardworking individual, who had a passion for taking care of the under-served population, which is mental health,” her brother-in-law Andrew Nyabwari said.
“She felt it was actually her calling. It was informed both by her faith and background in serving this doubly under-served community,” another relative Onditi Nunda said.
In light of the suspect’s history of assaulting women, Onkundi’s family is curious as to why no security measures were taken.
“He is somebody with a very extensive criminal history. Why was he out? I feel like the system let us down. The system let June down,” says Nyabwari.
Nunda said: “How did this happen? Because you would expect that there is workplace safety. These are things that need to be addressed. We need answers.”
The North Carolina Nurses Association supports the family’s plea for more nurse protection.
“June died from circumstances that could have been avoided. One, by the system that let him out with that extensive violent history,” says Nyabwari.
Family and friends have put up a GoFundMe (https://gofund.me/bf249a5c) to help cover the cost of Onkundi’s funeral.