In the bucolic setting of Kiambu County, a heart-wrenching mystery has ensnared a local family, leaving them in a desperate search for answers. The relatives of Stephen Mutini Karuku, 36, are urging Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to intensify efforts to uncover their loved one’s fate, lost now for nearly eight months.
Karuku’s family has been met with frustration and heartache in their attempts to locate him since his sudden disappearance in July of last year. The day he vanished, Karuku was in Thika, accompanied by his brother, Robert Gatimu, seeking medical care at a local facility.
Adding to the unfolding enigma, Karuku had stopped at a barbershop during their trip. Upon exiting, he attempted to reach his brother via phone, but the call failed to connect. His mobile device rang briefly before falling silent, and subsequent efforts to track it have proven fruitless.
Later that evening, a startling discovery: Karuku’s vehicle was found abandoned near the town of Tetu, its windows smashed in a seeming act of violence. The car radio was damaged, but all else remained untouched – apart from Karuku himself, who was nowhere to be found.
The family’s concerns grew when the police, alerted to the state of the vehicle, somehow obtained the missing man’s mobile phone. The device showed that funds in his M-Pesa account had been withdrawn. This revelation prompted questions about the police’s role and their possible connection to Karuku’s disappearance.
“We are nearing the point of despair,” the family confessed. “We fear our brother was taken, and we are at a loss for what to do. We yearn for his return. The weight of his absence has been overwhelming.”
Their search for justice has seen some progress, with the arrest and charging of individuals believed to have illicitly accessed Karuku’s M-Pesa account. Yet, the family’s quest for answers remains largely unfulfilled.
“A year ago, the Ruiru DCI informed us that the case file on the officers allegedly involved in my brother’s abduction was with the DPP,” Gatimu shared, his voice heavy with frustration. However, the family’s hope waned when they received an update, through an unnamed source, that the case file was flawed due to incomplete information.
The file has been returned to the police for further investigation, but the family has yet to receive any updates. Thus, their agonizing wait continues, as does their plea for Inspector General Koome to bring clarity and closure to their eight-month ordeal.