Family of American gunned down in Silay City bar appeal for help

Erik Hendrickson and Jeremia, an orphaned boy he was working to adopt and take to the USA

The family of an American gunned down in a Silay City bar has launched an appeal to repatriate his body and complete the adoption of his son.

As we reported yesterday, Erik Hendrickson was shot dead on Tuesday evening after he refused to buy a beer for two strangers. 

According to a police report, after the 57-year-old refused the request the two men started to insult him in local dialect, which Mr Hendrickson understood.

Fresh reports suggest that after only a very brief row, the victim walked away from the bar but was followed by his attackers who shot him several times in the head.

The suspects were arrested just minutes later and have been named as Gilbert Apellido, aged 40, and his 18-year-old nephew Neil Brian Corseno.

Hendrickson, from Iowa, was in Silay to work on obtaining papers to adopt an orphan boy, named Jeremiah, and give him a new life in America.

Now his niece Heather Nemec has launched a gofundme appeal to raise $15,000 dollars.

She said: “My aunt and uncle had always wanted children but due to issues beyond their control they were unable to conceive.  

“So they turned towards adoption in my aunt’s birthplace in the Philippines where they fell in love with a little boy who was given up at birth, they named him Jeremiah.  

“Erik and Vicky loved Jeremiah so much but to get him here they needed one of them to stay behind to be able to do the legal adoption via Philippines’ adoption processes.”

She described the family’s shock at Mr Hendrickson’s murder, and said they were still trying to obtain an accurate official account of exactly what happened.

She continued: “Now Jeremiah’s adoptive mother is now scrambling to get him adopted by herself and left having to deal with the unexpected murder of her husband half way across the world.

“I am asking for help for my aunt and for Jeremiah who is in the middle of the adoption process. Bringing Erik home will cost almost $8,000, paying for a funeral will be thousands more.  

“Thank you for anything you can spare. Any money raised will go towards funeral expenses, bringing Erik home, legal fees incurred by the murder, full adoption of Jeremiah and help towards Erik’s widowed wife.”

Within a day of the appeal being launched, nearly $1,500 had been raised towards the target and some 500 supporters had shared it on Facebook.

Visit the appeal page here. 

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