The victim. (Photo from court documents)

The victim. (Photo from court documents)

Abused Kent woman’s death identified as homicide

“To be honest I beat her up last week,” her mother told police.

Three months following her death, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the manner of death of a 28-year-old Kent woman — allegedly abused daily by her mother — as a homicide.

Esther Arunong, 28, died in Renton on April 29 at Valley Medical Center, one day after her sister called 911 to request an ambulance for her, reporting that the sisters’ mother recently struck her.

The previous day, April 28, Kent Police Department patrol officers and fire department personnel arrived at the family’s shared apartment, located in the 1600 block of W. Smith Street, and found Arunong lying on the living room floor, with bruises and lacerations covering her body.

“To be honest I beat her up last week,” Arunong’s mother, Sepe Harrison George, stated to Kent officers.

Kent police arrested George that day on assault charges.

King County prosecutors filed two felony counts of domestic violence assault in the second degree against George on May 1. At the time of the filing, the cause of Arunong’s death remained undetermined.

On June 17, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office released its findings regarding Arunong’s death, identifying Arunong’s death as a homicide resulting from multiple organ system failure and blunt force injuries of the head, torso and extremities.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Kent police interviewed George after arresting her on April 28. In her interview, George admitted to beating Arunong “almost daily,” striking her with household objects including metal tongs, resulting in a laceration on her forehead, and a frying pan. George stated to Kent police that she struck Arunong on the side of her head with the frying pan on one of the weekdays prior to her arrest, hard enough to bend the pan handle.

George said after hitting Arunong with the pan, Arunong began acting differently and refusing to eat, not talking and having a hard time walking.

Valley Medical Center staff informed detectives Arunong suffered from kidney failure, with her lungs not taking in sufficient oxygen, a fractured scapula, and two lacerations down to the bone — one on Arunong’s forehead, and one on her hand.

Staff pronounced Arunong deceased at 9:38 a.m. April 29.

“We’re in the process now of reviewing new information from investigators,” stated Casey McNerthney, director of communications for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in an email.

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