The Jamaican dad and half-sister of an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly killed by her neighbor were denied entry into the United States on Friday, three days before her funeral.
Kenroy Smith learned that his daughter AbbieGail had been stabbed to death after her mom reported her missing on July 13. Authorities found her body wrapped in a blanket on the roof of the mother’s apartment complex in Keansburg, New Jersey.
AbbieGail’s dad and half-sister, Kenish, began making arrangements to travel to the states for AbbieGail’s funeral Monday. Their plans came to a halt, however, when they were denied entry into the country.
Even after traveling over an hour from their hometown in Port Maria, Jamaica, to the U.S. Embassy in Kingston on Friday to show proof of the funeral, they still couldn’t get clearance, according to USA Today.
Kenory’s visa was denied due to a 2001 incident in which he was deported from the U.S. after being arrested for drug possession, according to the Asbury Park Press. Kenish was also denied entry after officials told her she was a threat to overstay her visa.
On July 20, Kenroy recorded a video pleading with President Donald Trump to intervene so that he could attend the funeral.
“I am asking you please, sir, if you could assist us by getting us to the United States of America to pay our last respect to AbbieGail Smith, who was gruesomely, brutally murdered,” he said in the video. “Please, sir, we are asking for your help.”
His family members in the U.S. also wrote lawmakers seeking a solution.
Now, Kenroy is still attempting to enter the states to get closure with the slaying of his daughter, who was born in Jamaica. He told NJ.com that he wants to be present for the trial of AbbieGail’s accused killer, 18-year-old Andreas Erazo, who confessed to the crime on Wednesday, according to prosecutors.
“I’m a loving father. I preach love. I have to see justice served,” he said. “Please, I have to see where she was killed. I want to look into the killer’s face.”
In a Facebook post Thursday, the mourning father condemned Trump for his silence.
″Now the leader of the American people did not even [send] us condolences,” he wrote. “And he is the one who say he will make America great again ... This man do [not] have love for people, he love money. My people, this will have a huge [effect] on me till death.”
AbbieGail’s aunt Cecille Bennett started a GoFundMe account to cover the funeral expenses and to help the child’s mom move out of the apartment complex where the killing took place. As of Thursday, she has raised more than $9,000.
Erazo is currently being held without bail until his trial. He faces first-degree murder and weapons charges.
HuffPost has reached out to the family and will update the story accordingly.