See more of the story

The funeral for Tou Ger Xiong, a prominent local Hmong American activist and comedian who was kidnapped and killed in Colombia in December, will be held later this month, the Xiong family has announced on Facebook.

Services will be held Jan. 27-29 at Legacy Funeral Home, 255 Eaton St., St Paul. The funeral home will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to midnight on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, with burial on Jan. 29.

More than 350 people have indicated on Facebook that they are planning to attend the services, with nearly a thousand others expressing interest. A candlelight vigil in December to celebrate his life attracted hundreds of people.

The Xiong family said they want to celebrate Tou Ger's life as "a cherished son, brother, uncle, friend, mentor, community leader, storyteller, and a champion for social justice." The family has created an endowment fund to support his legacy of building community and advancing social justice.

Xiong, 50, of Woodbury, grew up in St. Paul and was valedictorian at Humboldt High School. He was credited with shedding light on the Hmong American immigrant experience through comedy and laughter, and was named a Bush fellow in 2019.

He was found dead Dec. 11 after a date with a woman he met online led to a group of men kidnapping him and demanding from his family a $2,000 ransom. Xiong's body was found the next day with stab wounds and evidence of blunt force trauma.

So far, a woman has been arrested by Colombian authorities in connection with the case.