Ethiopians in Dallas grieve the loss of Yayehyirad and Yenenesh; Police close to solving the murder

Police may be close to solving couple’s murder, reward retracted

DALLAS (FOX) — Just a few hours after a local business offered a $10,000 reward to help catch those responsible for a couple’s murder, Dallas police announced the reward offer was retracted, because they had a promising lead.

Earlier on Thursday, Oak Farms Dairy offered $10,000 to whoever has information leading to the arrest and indictment of any suspects in the murders of Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta.

However, a few hours later, Dallas police announced the reward offer had been retracted and that “detectives are working on potential information.”

The couple, who own Desta Ethiopian Restaurant on northern Greenville Avenue, were shot by an unknown assailant as they returned home to their M Street house at just after midnight on Wednesday.

Neighbors heard gunfire and called police to the home in the 5700 block of Marquita Street. Inside, a relative was caring for the couple’s 1-year-old son.

Anyone with further information on these murders is asked to call the DPD Homicide unit at 214-671-3661 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward.

* * * * *
No Motive In Murder Of Restaurant Owners

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – So far police haven’t arrested any suspects in connection with the Wednesday morning murder of a Dallas couple.

Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Abayneh Desta owned a popular Ethiopian restaurant. Police say they found the couple shot to death on the doorstep of their home.

Investigators told CBS 11 News there was no obvious motive and nothing was taken from either victim — indicating robbery wasn’t the goal.

David Eseke rents an apartment from the couple and was asleep next-door early Wednesday, but said he didn’t hear the gunshots. Eseke thinks weather had something to do with that.

“There was a ton of lightning last night… thunder,” he said.

Grieving family members visited the couple’s home Wednesday and gathered at church to pray.

A friend described the pair as a, “very beautiful, down to earth couple.”

Lemma’s close friends said they have no idea why anyone would kill the pair.

A number restaurants owners near the Desta Ethiopian Restaurant closed Wednesday to honor the couple. Flowers were placed outside the door of the restaurant.

Police say the investigation into the shooting in the 5700 block of Marquita Avenue is ongoing.

* * * * *


DALLAS, TEXAS – A Dallas couple was shot dead on the front porch of their home in the M Streets area in the 5700 block of Marquita Street. Sources tell News 8 it does not appear the couple was shot in a robbery attempt.

It happened just after midnight as Yayehyirad Lemma, 40, and Yenenesh Desta, 31, were getting home from working at their restaurant, Desta.

Sources said someone drove up, got out of the vehicle and shot the couple at close range. The person then fled the scene.

Family members said the couple had an 18-month-old baby who was not hurt in the shooting. The baby was in the house with other family members when the fatal shooting occurred.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday for traditional prayers at the couple’s church in Garland. It is a holy time for many Ethiopians. It’s their Lent.

“I mean there’s only one way, you pray together when this kind of thing happens to you,” said Teddy Tadesse, a family friend.

Tadesse said he has no idea who would want to harm the couple. Their friends and family called them Lemma and Desta.

“He was shy, quiet,” he said. “She was loving, generous, and very beautiful people. It’s a big loss.”

Dallas police are still searching for answers.

“We don’t have a motive at this time,” said Sgt. Joe Garza, Dallas Police Department. “We know the individuals lived at that location and we are trying to follow up on leads we may have.”

Police say they are still looking for surveillance video in the area.

Sources said robbery may not have been the motive. Nothing appears to be missing.

Their restaurant, Desta, is an Ethiopian eatery located on Greenville Avenue near Forest Lane.

While it is Ethiopian tradition to be buried within three days of death, that will not be possible for the couple, since autopsies will need to be done and police continue to investigate.

So the community will pray every day until Lemma and Desta are laid to rest.