Friend of one of two girls who drowned in Chaska pond recalls friendship

"It doesn’t feel like she’s actually gone, like she’s at home sleeping or something.”

Edgar Linares
October 15, 2018 - 8:18 pm

By Edgar Linares


A Twin Cities family has more questions than answers after the bodies of two cousins were pulled from a Chaska pond Sunday night.

“In the beginning, I didn’t know anything until late Sunday when they were pulling out the bodies,” said Erica Perez, 18, a friend of the family.

The girls who died where identified as Bushra Abdi and Zeynab Abdalla, both 19. They went missing Saturday morning after going on a work break. The cousins worked overnight jobs and attended school. Bushra worked at the Chaska Heights Senior Living facility, and Zeynab at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Shakopee.

Police say shortly after the girls went on break, dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman asking for “help”, with the connection ending shortly afterwards. Hundreds of people searched for two days until Sunday evening, when tire marks and a smashed stop sign were spotted near a pond off Highway 41 and White Oak Drive in Chaska.

“We have no reason to believe that this is anything but a very sad tragedy, a traffic accident. And we are very sorry for those who lost their loved ones,” Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight told WCCO-TV.

On Monday, car after car arrived to see the scene, many from Minnesota’s Somali community. Several people dropped off flowers, including Perez and a friend. Perez went to Shakopee High School with Abdalla, who went by the nickname “Hapsa”. She said she last spoke with Hapsa on a group chat a few weeks earlier.

“It doesn’t feel like she’s actually gone, like she’s at home sleeping or something,” said Perez. “Last time I actually saw her, we witnessed a car accident together.”

Perez said Hapsa was a very “caring” person who thought of others before herself.

A medical examiner determined the cause of death was accidental drowning. The case remains under investigation by the Chaska Police Department.