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Family of missing man found in James River 3 years ago: ‘People really loved him’

Posted at 12:48 AM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 00:54:19-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va.  -- It's been an emotional time for the Alkebu-lan family since their family member disappeared three years ago.

“It’s really uncomfortable to just not know where your brother is, the circumstances, things like that," said Mensah Alkebu-lan.

Mensah said his brother, Hassan, disappeared three years ago.

Mensah Alkebu-lan and reporter Matthew Fultz.

Mensah Alkebu-lan and reporter Matthew Fultz.

"We were going to go out and get him identification, my mother was, and when she got back he was gone," he said.

Chesterfield Police found Hassan Alkebu-lan's body in the James River back in March of 2016.

“You really cant, like articulate or put a finger on how you’re feeling. You go to thanksgiving and people ask you, where is your brother and you really don’t know what to say," Mensah said.

But it wasn’t until Friday March 29, 2019 when Chesterfield Police finally identified Hassan’s body which sent emotions through his family.

"‘You go back to the good times and you realize how much people really loved him and you just kind of stay there. Once they start to turn you realize it’s not him, it’s somebody else," said Mensah.

Mensah said his brother was 39 and suffered from mental illness and overtime became distant.

“You just really felt like you couldn’t do anything to help him," he said. "Never just felt like you could make him happy.”

Hassan Alkebu-lan

Hassan Alkebu-lan

Police said the investigation took years because traditional means of identifying the body didn’t work. But with the help of new genetic genealogy analysis, Mensah and his family now has closure.

“I’m very grateful for them, no amount of money can get that. Just being able to visit a gravesite and know where your brother is, it’s amazing, I’m always going to be grateful for them," Mensah said.

Police are still investigating the cause of Hasson's death but don't expect any foul play.

Mensah said the family is working on funeral plans for Hassan.