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Four families from one village searching missing kin for months

Vicody Ngeno shows a photo of her husband Denis Kipkurui Ngeno, who went missing on June 7, 2022. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

Four families from Talenet village in Belgut constituency are living in pain over the disappearance of their loved ones two months ago.

Erick Langat, Philip Langat, Denis Ngeno and Nancy Ngeno vanished mysteriously on June 7.

Belgut Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Ezekiel Kuche confirmed that missing person reports had been filed at the local police station.

But he remained tight-lipped when asked to divulge more information, saying it would interfere with police investigations.

“There are finer details and dots we are trying to connect and it would be a good idea that we hold back a little until we make a breakthrough,” Mr Kuche said.

Vicody Ngeno, the wife of Denis, said she had not had peace since her husband went missing from their Telanet home.

The 30-year-old man worked as a mason and also moonlighted as a matatu driver.

“On the day my husband went missing, I had in the morning left him behind at the house to go to the farm only for him to call me at 10am that he was leaving briefly,” said Vicody.

She added: “When I called him at about 5pm to inquire about the measurement of a wire mesh I wanted to buy, he simply told me that it’s five metres before he hurriedly hang up. My sixth sense told me something wasn’t right but there was nothing much I could do.”

Vicody added that she made another call to her husband at around 8pm on the material day to try and inquire about his whereabouts but her call went unanswered. She made several other calls that night which also went unanswered.

“In the morning, a boda boda rider called me to inform me that some residents had been arrested and taken to Kericho Police Station, he later claimed they had been taken to Kapsoit Police Station. I went to both police stations but I didn’t find my husband,” she said.

Vicody filed a formal missing person report at Kapsoit Police Station.

“I have searched for my husband everywhere, in hospitals, mortuaries and police stations to no avail.”

The search has been extended beyond Kericho to mortuaries in Kakamega, Kisumu and Nairobi following information from DCI officers based at Kapsoit Police Station that some unknown bodies were recovered in the counties.

“It has been a wild goose chase, I am yet to find my husband dead or alive,” said Vicody.

She pleaded with her husband’s abductors to release him.

“If the police have a hand in it, let them book him at the police station and arraign him if he committed any crime. That is how justice should naturally take its course,” said Vicody.

Even then Ngeno described the father of two children as a gentle person who didn’t quarrel with anyone.

Beatrice Cherotich from Chepkurbet village is also looking for her sister Nancy who like Denis disappeared on June 7.

The 40-year-old is a single mother of one and worked as a tout in Kericho town

“She left the house as usual but after failing to return home for two consecutive days, we went looking for her in police stations, hospital, and even prisons,” she said.

Cherotich said police have not been of much assistance to them.

“They have been telling us that they are yet to get any leads and that we should just keep looking for our loved ones,” she said.

Cherotich said she was not aware of anyone who would want to kidnap or harm her sister.

Cherotich’s disappearance was reported at Kericho Police Station.

Erick’s family member who sought anonymity said he was at a loss over his whereabouts.

“His saloon car was found abandoned by the roadside near Kisumu road junction but we don’t know anything else so far,” he said.

Kericho Woman Representative Beatrice Kemei asked Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to investigate the matter.