The prime suspect in the murder of celebrated Kenyan long-distance runner Agnes Tirop has finally been arrested days after her body was discovered in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet county.
Tirop’s body was found in a pool of blood on Wednesday, October 13, at her Iten home where the suspect is believed to have stabbed her to death before taking on his heels.
According to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Ibrahim Rotich was arrested in Changamwe, Mombasa as he was trying to leave the country to evade justice.
The investigative agency said Rotich had rammed his getaway vehicle into a lorry at Mlolongo, along Mombasa Road, as he tried to evade the detectives’ dragnet.
“The suspect is currently being grilled by detectives at Changamwe police station for more details into the murder, before being arraigned in court to answer to murder charges,” the DCI said.
According to Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata, the murder suspect will be moved to Nairobi as investigations into the case continue.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the law enforcers to expedite investigations into the murder of the 25-year-old two-time world record holder.
In his condolence message, the head of state mourned Tirop as a Kenyan hero and champion whose death was a big blow to the country’s sporting ambitions and profile.
“I urge our law enforcement agencies led by the National Police Service to track down and apprehend the criminals responsible for the killing of Agnes so that they can face the full force of the law,” Uhuru directed.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, October 14, Tirop’s family said the athlete was living in fear up until her gruesome death.
According to the deceased’s brother Josephat Keter, his sister was constantly looking over her shoulder due to Rotich and had moved from the house they lived together to a camp due to concerns over her life.
Her inconsolable mother recalled the last time she saw her daughter alive on Sunday, October 10, only to learn of her death a few days later.
“I feel so much pain because she was always there for me,” she said.