Mourning Family Seeks Answers

Ramona man buried but questions still remain

A Ramona man who was killed last week in house explosion is laid to rest but investigators still don't know why it happened.

Dozens of family and friends of Ramona resident Joseph Nesheiwat attended his funeral Wednesday.  The 24-year-old man died early Friday morning after a vacant house exploded on North Woodson Drive in Ramona. 

"He was really loved from everybody," Joseph's uncle Mike Dababneh said. "Everybody loved this kid. To me, he was awesome, very awesome."

The explosion and fire gutted the two-story home located in a gated community near Mount Woodson Golf Course. Sheriff's investigators said it appears the blast was caused by some type of gas, but they don't know what sparked it. 

Nesheiwat's family also has questions about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.  They said about an hour and a half before the explosion, someone stopped by Nesheiwat's Ramona home and picked him up.  Family members want to know who picked him up and why he ended up at the vacant home at 1:30 a.m.  The home belongs to the owner of Stars Gas Station on Main Street in Ramona where Joseph worked for the past seven years. 

Owner Jim Kurtenbach said his attorney advised him not to talk about the investigation, but he did say that sometime last week, he smelled propane gas inside the home and that when he went back later to the residence, the odor was gone. He also said Nesheiwat was like a son to him.  Kurtenbach put up a sign at his gas station saying, "Rest in peace our brother Joe."  Pictures of Joseph are also placed in a gas station window where people have written messages about their friend. 

Joseph's uncle said friends and family won't have closure until they know what happened and why Nesheiwat was at the vacant home. 

"Only God knows right now," said Dababneh. "Only god knows."

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