Two 19-year-old Somali Muslim cousins whose bodies were pulled from a Chaska pond in mid-October accidentally drowned, authorities ruled, but the families, egged on by designated terrorist group CAIR, accuse police of not doing everything they could to save them.
Star Tribune After a frantic search for Bushra Abdi and Zeynab “Hapsa” Abdalla ended with the discovery Sunday evening, family and friends who stood vigil prepared to gather again to bury the women.
Still, there are unanswered questions about what happened after the women got into their car together and before it submerged into the freezing pond, along with what caused their car to veer off the road at the intersection of Hwy. 41 and White Oak Drive early Sunday morning. The deaths remain under investigation by the Chaska Police Department.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Abdalla, who was driving her family’s Chevrolet Impala, didn’t have a driver’s license or a permit. Abdi only had her driver’s permit.
The deaths have rocked the Somali-American community, said Jaylani Hussein (below), executive director of the Minnesota chapter of designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). “This is probably the most shocking event to hit this community in a long time,” he said.
Members of the Somali-American community arrived at the scene to look over the small pond where the bodies of Bushra Abdi and Zeynab ìHapsaî Abdalla were found in a car at the site near Hwy. 41 and White Oak Drive, Monday, October 15, 2018 in Chaska, MN.
Friends and family contend that the women’s early morning plea for help via a cryptic 911 call warranted more urgency than they believe police initially showed.
Police had two transcripts made of the call. The first was done in the weeks following the incident, and the second was made after further analysis. Both transcripts reveal that the female caller — either Abdalla or Abdi — frantically tried to explain what was happening.
“Help, we are drowning,” the woman said, later adding, “We are in water,” and “My God, we are drowning.” She went on to say that they were “just stuck.” Later, she said, “Help us, help us. Somebody help us. We are under …”
However, the recording shows that the call was very difficult to understand.
It ends with screaming, and the dispatcher asking if someone is there. The dispatcher called the number back five times in a three-minute span, but the call went to voice mail.
“I am very frustrated with authorities with how they responded,” said Habsa Abdi, sister of Bushra Abdi. “I felt like they brushed it off.”
Police disagree, saying they acted promptly and worked the case from the moment they learned of the emergency call until the bodies were found. Within about an hour of the disappearance, investigators visited Abdalla’s home and inquired about the women’s welfare, said Capt. Craig Robson of the Shakopee Police Department.
“This idea that we didn’t do anything, that’s uninformed,” Robson said. “We were on this thing immediately, and we were not dismissive of it.”