Father Of Transgender Samoan Found Hung In Church Believes She Was Murdered

‘I forgive them’ grieving Dad tells people at candlelight procession for Jeanine

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 27, 2016) – Ipuniu Ioane, father of the late transgender Jeanine Ioane has forgiven those allegedly responsible for the death of his son.

Speaking to Talamua Media after this morning’s candle light procession in remembrance of his son, Ipuniu said “I forgive them.”

He strongly believes his son was beaten and murdered before he was hung to make it look like a suicide.

Jeanine is the eldest of 6 children and she would be 20 come September 2016.

He spoke highly of his son’s artistic touch and creativity that come through in his decorations of big events such as weddings, anniversaries, family reunions and funerals.

Two weeks prior to his death, Jeanine was commended for decorating the Malololelei Catholic Hall at Tiapapata for a wedding, which some of his friends said was his best achievement then.

“Death is part of our lives and we all have to cope with it. But I do not think any parent would want to see their sons’ picture in the newspaper in the manner my son was treated,” said Ipuniu.

He and family are still trying to cope with the loss of his eldest child however, after the response from the country and the Samoa Fa’afafine Association, he believes the pain of their loss has eased somewhat.

“My family is touched by the support of SFA and this candle light procession shows how much my son is loved by all of them,” said Ipuniu.

“I thank SFA for their love and for acknowledging Jeanine,” said Ipuniu.

“It is hard and painful to any parent when a child is suddenly taken from you, but my family and I are comforted by the support from the people, and we are content by the fact that my son was loved,” said Ipuniu.

“I have forgiven them all,” he told Talamua Media, “and now their focus is on getting his son’s body to be buried and farewell him with the decency any human being deserves.”

But the funeral could be sometime yet as the family has to wait until the post mortem and police investigations are done.

“I cannot interfere with the law,” he told Talamua.

Police have questioned more than 5 suspects in relation to Jeanine’s death and the investigation continues.

Talamua
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