Nakuru man travelled to Nairobi for business, never to be seen again

Joel Maina Baru

Joel Maina Baru, a Nakuru based businessman who went missing on May 18, 2024.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Efforts by the family to trace the businessman have proven futile.
  • Businessman had reportedly bagged a contract with a company in Nairobi.

Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a Nakuru based businessman who went for a business trip to Nairobi, never to return home.

Mr Joel Maina Baru, went missing on May 18, under unclear circumstances while on business trip in Nairobi.

Nearly one month later, his family's efforts to trace him, with the help of the police, have proven futile and the family is hopeful that their son will someday resurface.

Two days prior to the trip, the businessman informed his younger brother, Mr David Muriuki, that he had bagged a contract of transporting milk for a company based in Industrial Area, Nairobi.

"My brother told me on a Thursday that he had been engaging certain people for almost two weeks. He told me that they settled on that Saturday to go and sign the said contract. He never revealed the details of the company or even the people he was talking to," said Mr Muriuki.

"We met that evening for dinner and had a conversation about his travel arrangements to Nairobi that Saturday. We agreed that he was to travel to Nairobi and come back on Saturday evening. That was the last time I saw my brother, we have never seen him again," Mr Muriuki recalled.

"However, that Thursday, when I went to his place, he was not okay, we normally talked a lot about family, but this time he seemed unhappy. He never disclosed if he was in danger or if anything was bothering him. But he said he had been receiving calls, requesting him to travel to Nairobi for the contract," said Mr Muriuki.

According to Mr Muriuki, on Saturday after his brother travelled to Nairobi, he failed to communicate with his wife as he had promised.

Thereafter Mr Baru phones went off and the whereabouts of the four remains unknown.

According Mr Baru’s wife, it was unusual for him to stay the whole day without communicating.

After failing to locate him for days, the family reported the matter at Nairobi Central Police Station.

According to Mr Muriuki, preliminary investigations by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations showed that two of Mr Baru’s mobile phones were switched off at Nyamakima bus station, while the other one went off near Nairobi Central Police Station.

“It has been one month of agony. I have been visiting various police stations in the city, but we have not found him. I have also been attending courts to see if he was arrested and would be arraigned, but our efforts have borne no fruits,” Mr Muriuki said.

He said his brother has never committed any criminal offence and has never been arrested.

Mr Muriuki said said that Mr Baru was a businessman who had worked for more than 10 years as a contractor specialised in constructing and installing petrol stations.

He last worked at Kinamba Petrol Station, in Nyahururu before he quit two years ago and ventured into business.

When he went into transportation business, Mr Baru purchased several lorries and founded Davies Smith Agencies in Nakuru City.

According to Mr Muriuki, his brother often travelled from Nakuru to Kinamba, in Nyahururu to see his family over the weekends.

"I left my family and job to go look for him. It has been hard for us. We are worried about his whereabouts, because it has been a month now. His wife and children are agonising day and night, hoping that he will one day show up. We request anyone, to help us in finding him, our hearts will be at peace,” Mr Muriuki said.

The family now wants security agencies to help in tracing their kin.

“We just plead with the government to help us trace our brother. It has been traumatizing. We have had many sleepless nights,” Mr Muriuki added.

"My plea is that the police speed up investigations. We want to know what happened. We have searched for him in all places, including mortuaries and hospitals but we have not found him," he said.