June 12, 2023 | By: Kaitlin Ward
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida’s Applied Journalism class volunteer.
Turning eighteen is a milestone birthday, a day to be celebrated for leaving behind your childhood and becoming a legal adult. Kimani Pouncil never got his chance to grow up, his body was found on his eighteenth birthday.
“My brother was seventeen, everyone says oh they found him on his eighteenth birthday. Yeah, they found him but he was dead at seventeen,” said Rishauna, Kimani’s older sister.
Kimani had a smile that would brighten up the world. Growing up, he was the life of the party.
Rishauna remembers her brother as a lively person who loved everyone.
“He loved to try and cook. He loved to feed people. He would bring all his friends over to the house even when we barley had food to feed them,” said Rishauna.
His aunt had a program called save our children from crime, he was very active in that.
“He wouldn’t hesitate to stop what he was doing and help. We would be out in the freezing cold sorting toys for other people’s children, as kids,” said Rishauna with a smile.
With the South African name meaning warrior, Kimani was exactly that, a strong warrior.
“I remember we went to World of Fun and I didn’t win anything. He went back and shot basketballs and got me the biggest sonic the hedgehog, the pink one. It couldn’t even fit in the car. He was running and he was like I got you one sister,” remembers Rishauna.
On October 16, 2008, Rishauna lost her warrior.
Kimani was found dead in an ally, after bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the leg. The family was told he wasn’t shot where he was found. It was around midnight on his birthday when his body was found still warm.
When Rishauna heard the news, she passed out.
“I don’t even recall me getting the information on how he had passed. All I remembered was them stating they found him dead in the ally. That’s pretty much all I had remembered from that day,” said Rishauna.
Kimani was well known and well loved. It was a shock to everyone. His service was packed.
“It was wall to wall packed, it was sworn with so many people inside and out. Some people couldn’t even get in the line was long. When the family pulled up, we almost couldn’t get into the funeral because it was so packed,” said Rishauna.
The Pouncil family has since founded the non-profit, Kimani’s Korner, an organization that works with other families that have suffered from homicides.
“We try to be a comfort group and try to talk to people and just be an ear for people have dealt with things that we’ve dealt with,” said Rishauna.
They do balloon releases, hold small gathering and go to his grave, remembering him on a day that is both his birth and death date.
“I wish they would find out who did it. The why at this point isn’t even important, it’s not gonna bring him back. Just who did it. Like who did it,” said Rishauna.
Kimani had a lot planned for his future. He wanted to do a lot of things. He was still in high school, but he wanted to own businesses and work with clothing.
Rishauna now has a passion to start up a clothing line in remembrance of him.
“He loved to dress. He could dress in a suit. Or jeans and a sweat suit and he had style,” said Rishauna.
Rishauna has two sons, both named in remembrance of him. Kimari and Kimani, who never got the chance to meet their uncle.
Rishauna hasn’t learned any new information since that 2008 day. His case is completely cold.
“He didn’t deserve to die. He didn’t deserve to have a cold case,” said Rishauna, with tears in her eyes.
If you have any information on the murder of Kimani Pouncil, please call the Kansas City Missouri Police Department at (816) 234-5510. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward, please call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.
Please consider using the buttons below to share this case in hopes that someone, somewhere will come forward and give this victim and family the answers they need and the justice they deserve.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide, please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.