Husband of murdered Kenyan athlete arrested

The husband of Olympic long-distance runner Agnes Tirop was arrested and will face charges for the athlete’s murder after Kenyan police launched an operation to search for him and found him in the coastal city of Mombasa as he tried to flee the country, reports said. authorities.

Ibrahim Rotich was taken into custody shortly before 9:00 p.m. Thursday, police said, but only after the man slammed his vehicle into a pickup truck when he was being pursued by officers and had escaped an initial arrest attempt approximately 460 kilometers (285 miles) from Mombasa. He was finally taken into custody hours later in the eastern Kenyan city.

Rotich was arrested a day after Tirop, a two-time world championship bronze medalist, was found dead stabbed in his home in Iten, a town in western Kenya more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) from Mombasa, in the other end of the country. The body of Tirop, 25, was found in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the abdomen, police said.

Rotich was immediately identified as the main suspect in the crime, and police said the man had fled after his family reported calling them crying to confess that he had done something terrible.

Rotich was arrested along with another man who was traveling with him and had Tirop’s cell phone in his possession, police added.

Authorities revealed that Rotich is being questioned at a police station and they hope to charge him for the murder.

Rotich and Tirop were married in a traditional Kenyan ceremony but were separated at the time of the murder. Their respective families had convinced them to try to reconcile and the couple had apparently gotten together this week to try.

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Tirop won bronze medals in the 10,000 meters at the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships, and finished fourth in the 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics. Just last month, Tirop broke the world record in the women’s 10-kilometer road race in Germany.

His career took off when he won the world cross country title in 2015, at age 19. She became the second youngest champion in the event’s history.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was one of those who expressed outrage at Tirop’s murder and had called on the police to “find and apprehend the criminals responsible for Agnes’s murder.”

Kenyatta, who is on an official visit to the United States, called Tirop a “Kenyan heroine.”

The Kenyan Athletics Federation suspended all its events across the country for two weeks in honor of Tirop.

 

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