Amanuel Tamirat, the 20-Year-Old Ethiopian American Found Hanging in New Jersey

Amanuel Tamirat, the 20-Year-Old Ethiopian American found hanging at a public park in New Jersey, is one of four Black men from around the country to be found hanging in the last two months. Amanuel who was adopted from Ethiopia, at the age of 5, was a football player for the West Morris Central Wolfpack. (Heavy.com)

The 20-Year-Old Ethiopian American Found Hanging in New Jersey

Amani Kildea — full name Amanuel Tamirat Kildea — was the 20-year-old adopted son of a pastor and his wife who was found dead in Morris County, New Jersey, according to the Daily Record. Kildea’s death was originally ruled a suicide by the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, but pushback from activists, including a Morristown chapter of Black Lives Matter, has raised doubts about that determination.

According to Lieutenant Chris List of Morris County Park Police, a visitor spotted Kildea’s body hanging from a tree in Morris County Park at around 2:47 p.m. on June 28, the Christian Post reported. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit is still investigating the case, according to Parsippany Focus.

Kildea is one of four Black men from around the country to be found hanging in the last two months.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Amanuel Tamirat Kildea Was Adopted

Amanuel Tamirat Kildea was adopted from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the age of 5, the Christian Post reported. He grew up the son of Janice Kildea and her husband, Tom Kildea, who is also the senior pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Succasunna.

According to his obituary, although his native language was Amharic, he quickly picked up English and he was also funny.

He was a West Morris Central High School graduate from Long Valley, New Jersey, and according to Parsippany Focus, he was planning on attending James Madison University in the fall of 2020.

An article about Kildea in Morristown Green described him as goofy and full of life. In February, he graduated from military police basic training in the Army Reserves. “He made basic training fun, I miss it because of him. His big smile and dumb jokes…It was impossible not to love him,” an Army friend named Noah Brammer posted. “I just wish he would’ve reached out to his family and friends. He never ever acted like he was depressed or talked about it”

“Amani was sensitive, tender-hearted, gentle and kind. He was a great listener, and he loved to listen to family stories. He felt deeply, observed closely. He was broken in ways that very few could see or would ever know,” his obituary read.

2. Kildea Was A Gifted Athlete

Kildea was a football player for the West Morris Central Wolfpack and for the high school’s basketball team.

According to his obituary:

Amani was a natural athlete; he loved basketball the most. He would have liked to have been a great football player, but he was also wonderfully and beautifully slender. (A distinct disadvantage.) As a child, he was happiest with a friend and a ball.

His obituary also stated that Kildea was “exceptionally bright,” that he was “terrific at games” and that he hated to lose.

One of Kildea’s high school friends, Owen Caulfield, was quoted in Morristown Green as calling him “funny, ballsy, caring, friendly, smart and empathetic.”

“No matter what the circumstance, you would always have a smile on your face, even when we were getting in trouble (which was pretty often),” Caulfield said. “You held our nut job friend group together like glue, every second spent with you was fun.”…

Morris County Police released a statement, which read in part:

Contrary to the statements made in social media and elsewhere, the investigation remains open and has not concluded.

Read more »

Related:

Ongoing Investigation of the Death of Amani (Amanuel Tamirat) Kildea

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