A pharmacist implicated in the disappearance of a 14-year-old student has been charged with her abduction.
Gladys Chepkoech, a Form Two at AIC Kipkeikei Secondary School in Trans Nzoia, left their home on January 5 for her aunt’s home in Kitale before she could report to school. She neither reached her aunt’s place nor school.
Yesterday, Joel Wanda (pictured), a pharmacist at St Elizabeth Chiga Health Centre, denied abducting the minor before Winam Senior Resident Magistrate Fatuma Rashid.
The court heard that the accused abducted the girl on January 5, at Kisumu Central bus park. By yesterday, the girl had not been found.
Moments before Wanda pleaded to the charges, parents of the missing girl got information that a girl had been rescued and taken to Rabuor Police station.
Joseph Ochieng’, the missing girl’s father, went to the police station, but that was not his daughter.
In the courtroom, however, Benjamin Odhiambo, the pharmacist’s lawyer, asked the court to release the suspect on cash bail, arguing the girl was yet to be found.
The magistrate declined and instead granted the accused a Sh100,000 bond.
The minor was last seen with the pharmacist at a bar in Kisumu the day she disappeared. The suspect had earlier admitted to having booked her into a lodging.
The suspect reportedly first met the girl when she sought treatment at the facility in December last year.
Investigations indicated that the medic interacted with the minor several times on the family mobile phone after their first encounter, and even sent her a message on New Year’s Day.
The family’s driver dropped the girl at the bus stop. Her family says she called the pharmacist with the driver’s phone before they parted. Investigations also show that the medic and the girl spent a few minutes at a restaurant before going to a lodging.
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