Priest and neighbour found alive after abduction in parents' home

Fr Michael Muriuki. He was abducted while at his parents’ residence in Njoro. [Courtesy]

A Catholic priest who was abducted on Wednesday night along the Njoro-Mau Narok road in Nakuru county was yesterday found alive.

Fr Michael Muriuki who serves at Holy Cross Parish in Nakuru West was abducted while at his parents’ residence in Njoro. Fr Muriuki, however, was unable to narrate his ordeal as he was still in shock.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is investigating the abduction case. Fr James Gachigi, the Procurator for the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, confirmed the abduction and subsequent recovery of the priest. “Fr Muriuki travelled to his mother’s home in Mau Narok on Wednesday. At around 8pm, some unknown people raided the home and abducted him,” said Fr Gachigi.

He said the family raised alarm during the attack but the assailants left before help arrived. “A neighbour who was first to respond was abducted alongside the priest. The information was shared to the public and reported to the police followed by a search mission,” said Fr Gachigi.

The criminals also used the priest’s car as the getaway vehicle, holding the priest and the neighbour hostage for at least five hours in the night before dumping them.

“On Thursday morning, Fr Muriuki was found near Cereals Board in the outskirts of Nakuru. His hands and legs had been tied,” said Gachigi.

Nakuru West DCIO Kamau Wanguhu said the priest was found alongside the neighbour and were both taken to the hospital.

“They have been discharged and are in stable condition. They did not sustain any injuries. They are however still in shock and thus not in a position to speak about their ordeal,” said Wanguhu. According to the police, the two appeared tired and shocked. Fr Gachigi said they too had not spoken to Fr Muriuki on the incident and were giving him time to come to terms with what had transpired.

“He underwent a traumatising and shocking five hours in the hands of his abductors. We found it prudent to first give him time to calm down,” he said. The abduction incident was widely communicated among Nakuru residents, alerting the police to be on the lookout. Nakuru East DCIO George Momanyi said they are working to recover the priest’s vehicle.