‘It’s not a suicide’: Family of missing Kansas City woman found in river calls death suspicious

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twenty-three-old Estella Dekaye had been missing for four days when kayakers found her body in the Missouri River.

Kansas City police tell FOX4 her death is being investigated as an apparent suicide. They don’t believe foul play was involved, but did not provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Dekaye’s sister said she’s not convinced her sister took her own life.

“It’s not a suicide. It’s not a suicide. Somebody did this to her,” said Charline Noudjitar, sister of the victim.

Dekaye and her family moved from Central African Republic to Kansas City 10 years ago. She’s described as a star student, who not only graduated high school but also college with a 4.0 GPA.

Family said she loved to volunteer at A Simple House of Sts. Francis & Alphonsus where they said she will be remembered for always helping people and being kind.

Most of all, she loved her tight-knit family.

“I talked to her all the time. Every time she has a chance, when she’s not at work, she’ll call me. I know my sister would never do stuff like this,” Noudjitar said. “This case here? Somebody needs to do something with this case. How could she walk, keep walking all the way to the Missouri River?”

Dekaye went missing Tuesday, Sept. 28 from her apartment near 12th and Paseo.

Her sister said the timeline of her disappearance is unclear, but all her belongings were left at home.

She said the only clue is missed and answered calls from a number family don’t recognize.

The family also said they have been targets of random crimes in recent weeks, including a break-in and another family member caught in the middle of a roadway shooting.

“They take my sister phone, they put it aside. I call every day, five times a day, try to speak with investigator, nobody returning my phone call back,” Noudjitar said. “When you are poor, it’s kind of hard for you to get help, women of color, hard for you to get help. They say this is the land of the freedom. I don’t see no freedom here.”

Noudjitar has retained a lawyer in her fight for justice. They are pleading for information or someone who may have seen Dekaye at any point that night or day.

“Even if I have to spend a lot of money, I will never let this case down. That’s the love I have for my sister, and I am going to stand up for her. But for them to say that was suicide? Definitely not. Red flag.”


If you are thinking of hurting or killing yourself, please call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Find more resources on FOX4’s You Matter page.

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