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Kidnapped Cab Driver Likely Never to Recover

(Local 12 news) A cab driver who was kidnapped, stuffed in the trunk of his cab and driven around Cincinnati for hours is in a vegetative state and will likely never recover, Local 12 News has learned.

Mulugeta Shiferaw suffered severe brain damage last September when a fare robbed him and forced him into the trunk of his cab. After several hours of searching and a high-speed chase, police found Shiferaw’s cab, with him in the trunk. Charles Black, 30, was taken into custody and charged with felonious assault, robbery and kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Black had been released from prison just days earlier.

Shiferaw’s brother-in-law said his family may soon have to make a decision about taking him off life support.

“He is in a vegetative state. What that means is he has zero chance to recover. So we as a family and his closest friends what we need to do is we need to think about his future,” said Dessalegn Nemera, Shiferaw’s brother-in-law.

Shiferaw came to the United States from Ethiopia several years ago in search of a better life. He worked seven days a week to provide for his newlywed wife – and the baby they were expecting. Shiferaw also sent money to Ethiopia for his younger siblings. Shiferaw’s wife, Workinesh Nemera, is expecting their first daughter in February. Dealing with what’s happened to her husband has taken its toll.

“This is her first baby. She’s very frustrated and also thinking about the future of the baby,” Nemera said.

Shiferaw’s wife works two part time jobs. Her supervisor at the company where she works as a home health aide said the tragedy has changed her.

“Whenever you saw her there was a smile on her face. She’s a very quiet personality, person,” said Dixie Shumway. “Her whole demeanor is just a sadness.”

Dessalegn Nemera said his sister is praying for a miracle and hopes her husband will recover. But, the family is ultimately preparing for the worst. They are trying to raise money to send his body back to Ethiopia when the time comes.

“One, we have to stop his suffering by taking the life support or he’s going to die sometime soon because of infection or another disease,” Nemera said.

Nemera said his family is grateful for the doctors who have treated Mulugeta Shiferaw at the Drake Center and University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His family is also thankful for the help they’ve received from their church and others in the community.

The family has set up a fund to raise money for Shiferaw’s medical and other expenses at Fifth Third Bank in Mulugeta Shiferaw’s name.
Charles Black’s trial is scheduled to start in April. Charges against him could be upgraded.

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