Kenyan girl living in US still missing six months on, 'swindler' boyfriend questioned

Irene Gakwa goes missing in the US

Ms Irene Gakwa (right) disappeared from Gillette in the state of Wyoming and the family suspects that her boyfriend Nathan Nightman, 38 (left), had something to do with it.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Ms Gakwa's two brothers reported her missing to the Gillette Police Department on March 20, 2022.
  • Hightman told the police that he last saw Ms Gakwa in late February.

The 32-year-old Irene Gakwa, a Kenyan girl who went to the US in 2019 with the dream of starting her career in health care, has been missing since March.

Ms Gakwa, according to CNN, sent a message to her father on March 9, and has not been seen or heard from to date.

The family, living in Nairobi, said that during their last video call conversation, their daughter looked bored, hungry and tired.

Her father, just like a caring dad, asked her to ensure that she takes hot milk and to have enough time to relax.

The family became agitated after a month without getting any message from Ms Gakwa, her two siblings Chris Munga and Kennedy Wainaina who were sharing the phone became worried after days of unsuccessful attempts to reach her.

The two brothers are living in the Idaho city of Meridian.

In the process of reaching her, the siblings came through contacts of Nathan Hightman, a 39-year-old white man who had a recent conversation with their sister.

The siblings realised that the two had been living together in Gillette, Wyoming and had been dating since 2020.

They noticed that the two rekindled their love despite having several break ups.

The two brothers reported her missing to the Gillette Police Department on March 20.

While recording the statement with the police, Hightman told the police that he last saw Ms Gakwa in late February, the time she came home one night.

He also said he withdrew money from her bank account so she would be forced to contact him if she needed money.

Credit card

The suspect was charged for using Ms Gakwa’s credit card unlawfully, and two felony accounts of crimes against intellectual property, where he is alleged to have charged her banking account password as well as deleting her email account.

However, to date, the brother said that their attempt to get Ms Gakwa’s stuff from Hightman, including her Kenyan passport have not been successful. Since the man declined.

The suspect is also alleged to have transferred about Sh444,555 ($3,700) from Ms Gakwa's bank account to his own and spent an additional Sh388,084 ($3,230) on her credit card between February and March, according to the court documents.

CNN reported that during their search, investigators recovered a shovel and boots Hightman bought at a Walmart in late February using Gakwa's Visa card, according to court documents.