In December 2016, Springfield residents Henok Yohannes and Kedest Simeneh, both 22, were found shot to death just a couple miles apart. Investigators determined the killings were related, and that Yohannes Nessibu was the likely culprit. But by then, Nessibu had already left the U.S. for Ethiopia on a one-way $3,000 plane ticket.
Search warrants obtained by News4 indicate Nessibu had gone to Yohannes’ house to buy marijuana. Instead, Yohannes was shot in the upper body and killed.
Simeneh’s family say she was with Yohannes that night, and it’s likely Nessibu tracked her down and shot her the next morning.
By March 2017, investigators had gathered enough evidence to receive a grand jury indictment against Nessibu even though he had already left the country.
From there, the FBI and the Justice Department’s office of international affairs worked with the Ethiopian government along with the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa.
Nessibu was arrested by Ethiopian authorities in February 2019, and on May 3 they made the highly unusual decision to allow U.S. authorities to extradite Nessibu back to the U.S. He arrived by a special FBI plane in Dulles airport.
“If criminals attempt to run from their crimes we will work tirelessly to bring them to justice no matter where they try to hide and how many years it may take,” FBI special agent in charge Matthew DeSarno said.
Though relatives of the victims declined to comment, a cousin of Simeneh said she was glad to know that Nessibu was behind bars. His next stop is Fairfax County Court, where he will face two counts of murder.