Houston priest’s son arrested for murder of his parents and brother

The son of a Houston Episcopal priest has been charged with murder in the bludgeoning death of his mother, father and brother. On 4 Feb 2015 Houston Police announced Isaac Tiharihondi (19) had been taken into custody in Mississippi and was awaiting extradition to Texas to stand trial for the murder of his father, the Rev. Dr. Israel Ahimbisibwe, his stepmother Dorcus, and his five year old brother Israel, “Jay”.

After Dr. Ahimbisibwe failed to attend Sunday services at his parish, the Church of the Redeemer in Houston, parishioners telephoned the vicar and visited his home at an apartment complex. Concerned that there was no answer to their knock on the door, members of the parish had a maintenance worker try to open the front door. Finding the front and back doors locked the janitor broke a window and entered the apartment.

The janitor immediately called the police after finding the family dead.

Court records state police found the bodies of Dr. Ahimbisibwe and his wife face down in their bathroom. The bodies appeared to have been struck with a blunt object. The body of the five year old was found in a bathtub, and appeared to have been stabbed to death. All three appeared to have been dead for several days. The apartment was awash with blood, the report stated, suggesting the bodies had been dragged through the apartment after death.

The complaint filed by the police stated a neighbor had spoken to Mrs. Ahimbisibwe on the night of 27 January 2015, six days before the bodies were discovered. Investigators contacted the couple’s 17 year old son, Emanuel, who attends a boarding school in California. The son said that he spoke to his brother Isaac and later with his mother on the 27th, and learned the father was going to confront Isaac later that night. He asked his mother to telephone him after the family meeting, but never heard from his parents again.

Friends and neighbors of the Ahimbisibwe family saw Isaac during the week, but did not enter the family home.  On the 29th he told one neighbor he was leaving town to report for basic training with the U.S. Marine Corps, and appears to have left Houston on 31 January 2015 after taking a cab ride that morning.

Federal authorities tracked Isaac down and arrested him in Raymond, Miss., on 4 Feb 2015. He is presently awaiting extradition to Harris County Texas to stand trial for capital murder.

“While I am relieved authorities have found Isaac, I am heartbroken that he has been charged with capital murder,” said the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas. “This only adds to the tragedy of their deaths and raises more questions than it answers.”

Dr. Ahimbisibwe, a native of Uganda, was vicar of Church of the Redeemer and chaplain at the University of Houston, and was a graduate of Harvard and Rice Universities.

As a Christian community, let us pray for Emmanuel and Isaac as they journey through this time of grief and sorrow,” Bishop Doyle said, adding, “Let us also pray for our courts and our prisons, that all involved will be given clarity of mind, peace and wisdom. Our Book of Common Prayer reminds us to ‘pray that any that are held unjustly be released and that those who are guilty find repentance and amendment of life.’ We follow a God in Jesus Christ who is present with those who suffer. Let us be faithful to the God of love and forgiveness,” the Bishop said.

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