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08 December 2023

How a 10-year old boy kept dad alive for a week


A 10-year-old Nebraska boy cared for his father for more than a week after the man slipped and hit his head in their home, and it wasn't until the boy's school called authorities that his father was taken to the hospital where he died, authorities said on Monday.

The boy, Peter Asumani, told a police investigator he couldn't communicate with his father but that he fed and gave him liquids. The investigator went to the family's home Friday after the boy's principal called police to report he hadn't been in school for four days, Lincoln police spokeswoman Katie Flood said.

Flood said it wasn't clear if the boy knew about 911 or whether he tried to contact a neighbor or anyone else for help. Only the boy and his father lived in the Lincoln home, according to court documents.

The boy's father, 45-year-old Bienvenu Asumani, died Sunday, according to a petition filed Monday in juvenile court by Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Dan Zieg. The petition said the boy's mother couldn't be located and that the boy was now in foster care.

The elder Asumani was breathing and his eyes were open but he didn't respond to any questions, according to an affidavit from the police investigator, Cynthia Koenig-Warnke. He was taken to Bryan Medical Center West hospital while his son was placed in state custody.

The boy told Koenig-Warnke he had relatives in Arizona and his mother was in Africa, though his mother couldn't be located, according to the court documents.

Nebraska Health and Human Services Department spokesman Russ Reno confirmed the boy was in state custody. Declining to comment on specifics, he said it was routine in such cases that the department immediately begins searching for a child's relatives.

A hospital spokeswoman said Monday night she had no information on Asumani.

Zieg couldn't immediately be reached for comment.