From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Dec 26 2008 - 10:19:35 EST
Man found floating in Yarra 'had arranged marriage'
- *Andra Jackson*
- December 26, 2008 - 11:00AM
A St Albans man whose body was found, with hands bound, floating in the
Yarra, had only come to Melbourne from Eritrea 18 months ago after an
arranged marriage was organised for him.
Kidane Gebrezghi, 53, was found floating under the West Gate Bridge on
An autopsy has confirmed the cause of death was drowning.
A relative, Habdom Jovani, said yesterday he did not believe Mr Gebrezghi,
missing since last Thursday, committed suicide but said "we don't know what
happened in the river".
Mr Gebrezghi was the cousin of Mr Jovani's wife and the two grew up together
in Addis Abbab.
She stayed in contact with him after she married and moved to Australia and
when he remained unmarried, told him she knew of "a good woman" in
Melbourne, who would make a suitable wife.
"They telephoned each other and sent photographs," Mr Jovani said. "Then she
went to Addis Abbab and they met each other."
The couple married and lived in St Albans with his wife Tsehaineshe's two
children, an 18-year-old son and a daughter in her 20s who is a university
Mr Gebrezghi, like his wife, was working in a factory.
Mr Jovani said the dead man had no criminal background.
He was "a very good person" but a quiet man who kept to himself and did not
make friends easily, Mr Jovani said.
He was "a very religious person" who attended a Catholic church regularly in
He has no immediate family in Australia other than his wife but a brother in
the US has been in contact since learning of his death.
Mr Gebrezghi was last seen on Thursday when he left his St Albans home after
a dispute with his wife, taking her sister's car, Mr Jovani said.
"There has been no contact since then. His mobile phone was switched off,"
Community members visited Mrs Gebrezghi's St Albans house yesterday to offer
Abraham Hadgu, the Eritrean National Community Council president, said to
see "one of our members lose a life like this is a great blow to the
"The community is very much helping the family here and overseas," he said.
Mr Hadgu said while it was not yet known what led to Mr Gebrezghi's death,
he believed it was unlikely to have resulted from a racist attack.
The Australian community has come a long way since cultural differences with
the African communities emerged as a problem, he said.
"A lot has been done since then with cultural awareness. There is always
some harassment but not a thing like this," he said.
The homicide squad is investigating.
Between 1000 to 1500 Eritreans live in Melbourne, and a total of 3000 have
resettled in Victoria, Mr Hadgu said.
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