Boyfriend arrested as Kenyan woman goes missing in US
A Kenyan family living in the United States is searching for their relative who went missing in February.
Ms Irene Gakwa disappeared from Gillette in the state of Wyoming and the family suspects that her boyfriend Nathan Hightman, 38, had something to do with it.
The Nation has established that Hightman was charged with multiple felonies as he allegedly used her credit cards several times after she disappeared.
Her brother Chris Gakwa said the family suspected that something horrible might have happened and requested the police to investigate.
“We have a reason to believe that something terrible might have happened since she is not known for being silent for such a long time,” he said.
Mr Gakwa said that Hightman had been found guilty of using her email and stealing her banking cards.
An affidavit filed in a court in Gillette revealed that Hightman was arrested and questioned by the police over the disappearance.
He denied that he had interacted with her, claiming that she had left Gillette in March and bid him goodbye before boarding a dark-coloured SUV.
“She used to call our parents almost on a daily basis and also kept in touch with us. My sister is not a silent person because we believe she might not be okay currently,” Mr Gakwa told the Nation by phone.
Investigations by the Gillette police revealed that Hightman, a US national, had stolen over Sh366,600 from Ms Gakwa.
He spent Sh60,000 to purchase a pair of boots and a pair of trousers at a Walmart store.
The suspect was captured as he carried the items from the supermarket after he had paid for them using Ms Gakwa’s banking card.
Detectives said Hightman also used the card from his home address and they found a total of 10 transactions.
They have interviewed Ms Gakwa’s friends and associates and have executed about two dozen search warrants with the aim of finding her.
The family said that she had lived in the US since 2019 and was a nursing student.
US-based media outlets said Ms Gakwa met her boyfriend on a dating website but he instantly started controlling her.
The suspect even forced her to move from Idaho to Wyoming.
The family was also concerned when they received strange text messages from her phone on March 3.
In the messages, she informed her family that she would be moving to Texas because she did not like it in Gillette.