South Dakota Death – The 37-year-old Kipp Gabriel, a local musician, was found dead on Sunday, June 28 in South Dakota weeks after several women came forward on social media with allegations of sexual assault.
Barry Hillestad, Sheriff of Roberts County in Northeastern South Dakota says, “The coroner is doing part of the investigation, and the matter is still under investigation.”
The deceased father, Ken Gabriel who lives in Bismarck has reserved most comment on his son’s death.
“Right now we’ve talked to the police, and they want us to hold back for a bit because they’re doing a lot of investigating about the smut on Facebook or whatever that page is called,” He said. “It was very, very intense stuff, and they want to go through the investigation first so they really advised us to hold back for a bit.”
“I sorta know exactly what happened, pretty much a case of love, you know,” Ken said.
The deceased known as “Kipp G” in the hip-hop world, was a rapper with Me and You Crew and also a music promoter.
He performed at The Aquarium in downtown Fargo until around 2015 and was known as a happy and positive individual.
Prior to his demise, the Forum News Service reached Kipp via phone last week and wanted to know his say on the allegations online, but he denied the allegations and added by saying that he had been advised to make no comment.
“I have heard a little bit about it, but it is absolutely not true. It is absolutely not true,” he said. “They (the ladies online) are girls that I have dated, and they have also called me and laughed into the phone …. It’s like a game to them.”
He continues by saying, “It pains me because terrible things have been said.”
“I do respect women speaking their truth and I’m not trying to silence women, but in this situation, there’s more context to it than just a string of anonymous posts.”
Kipp’s father said he believes his son could handle the social media post but couldn’t handled the effect it had on his current relationship.
“He was the heart of our family. His relationship with people, his push for no drugs and no drinking, he was just totally against all that. It was all about love, and bad things making his relationship break up, and it was all about that. He couldn’t stand it. The texts he was getting, I think he could handle it. It was losing his girlfriend.”
A Forum News Servicing contributing Columnist Josie Danz, who was among the women who recently made the allegation against Kipp Gabriel said: “I was one of the women who came forward and made a statement basically addressing the fact that he raped me back in 2008.” She said despite the experience she had, his death was hard to hear about.
“Obviously, I have a difficult past with Kipp, but I also know he was also someone who brought a lot of joy and enthusiasm and talent and positivity to this community, and I think that’s why it’s hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around what’s happened in so short of a time,”She said.
She continued by saying “I think a lot of people were really shocked about some of the stories that were coming from him. He was obviously a multi-dimensional person in good and bad ways.”
In the midst of all these allegations, Officials with the Fargo and Moorhead police departments have said that they have no records of reports related to such allegations of sexual assault involving Kipp Gabriel.