Murdered girl's family beg for US visa to attend funeral
The family of an 11-year-old girl murdered last week in New Jersey have implored President Donald Trump to let them into the US to attend her funeral.
AbbieGail Smith was allegedly stabbed in the neck by her neighbour while taking out the rubbish on 12 July.
Her father, Kenroy Smith, was deported from the US to Jamaica in 2001 following a cannabis arrest.
Last week Mr Trump intervened to help grant visas to Afghan students who wished to attend a US robotics event.
"Please let me see my daughter for the last day before she goes under," said Mr Smith in a tearful video, ahead of her funeral on Monday.
Mr Smith has yet to learn the status of his visa request, he told APP.com from his home in Kingston.
AbbieGail's big sister, Kenish, has been denied a visa to enter the country from Jamaica to attend the funeral.
A spokesman for the US Department of State would not confirm the status of their visas, citing confidentiality.
"All visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and other applicable laws", the official said in a statement to the BBC.
AbbieGail's body was found the day after she vanished, wrapped in a blanket on the rooftop of her apartment building in the town of Keansburg.
Her 18-year-old neighbour, Andreas Erazo, was arrested hours later and charged with her death.
"Every time I close my eyes, I see her in front of me playing," said Mr Smith. "She just loved to play because she was such a lovely girl."
"President Donald Trump I am asking you, please sir, if you could assist us by getting us to the United States of America to pay our last respects to AbbieGail Smith."
AbbieGail's other older sister, Latisha Smith, who lives in the state of Maryland, has been writing letters to local officials, begging for help.
"We're a family. We all need to be together for AbbieGail," she said.