Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested a third suspect as investigations into the killing of athlete Agnes Tirop intensify.
Tirop’s estranged lover Ibrahim Rotich and his friend John Kipkoech Samoei, who drove the athlete from a training camp to her house in Iten where she was later found dead last week, are also in custody.
Rotich, who was arrested at the Coast, is expected to be arraigned this week.
Keiyo North sub-County Police Commander Tom Makori confirmed the arrest but declined to disclose the identity of the third suspect.
"There was an unidentified woman who was spotted at the slain athlete's home a day before her body was discovered. Detectives have had statements from multiple witnesses including friends of the two, which have aided our investigation. Positively identifying the woman won't be an issue," explained Mr Makori. He was, however, non-committal as to whether the third suspect was the woman.
“Now that more people including the prime suspect have been arrested, they will assist in exposing images on the CCTV cameras and facilitate conclusive investigations,” added Mr Makori, although he declined to divulge details of what the review of the footage had revealed.
Detectives are reviewing the CCTV footage obtained from the slain athlete’s house for more clues into her final moments.
“The detectives are analysing a raft of items we have in our possession and we are making steady progress in the matter," Mr Makori said.
According to Mr Makori, the prime suspect, Rotich, has since been transferred from Mombasa, where he was arrested. Mr Makori said the suspect was being held in one of the police stations 'in the vicinity' ready to appear in court.
The body of the athlete was found lying in a pool of blood inside her house in Iten last Wednesday. She had a stab wound in the neck.
“All the loose ends are being tightened and we shall not leave any stone unturned. There are leads on the unidentified woman who was spotted in the athlete’s home a day before the discovery of the body. And now that the prime suspect is in custody, we are going through all the items we have in our possession before concluding the investigations,” said the police commander.
He said for now Kipkoech will not be charged because investigations were still ongoing as the court had granted police more time to detain him.
Concealing the incident
“We want to look if he conspired or participated in the murder or aided the suspect in concealing the incident. We are waiting for detectives to conclude their investigations and prefer the charges,” he said.
Meanwhile, the athlete’s family through their spokesperson Jeremiah Sawe welcomed the arrest of the prime suspect as a step in their quest for justice for their daughter.
“We are grateful the police have arrested the person we believe is responsible for the death of our child. We now appeal to the State to speed up the investigation and ensure justice is served. Though we are grieving for the loss, we are relieved because he is behind bars,” said Mr Sawe.
The burial committee on Sunday confirmed that the athlete will be buried at her parent’s home at Kapnyamisa village in Nandi County on Saturday.
Mr Sawe said many people are expected to attend the burial because ‘Agnes was an international athlete and a friend to many’.
“We want to give her a befitting send-off because we loved her. She was a hard-working girl and touched many lives,” he said.