89-year-old man finally found, five days after he lost his way from seeking elders’ money

Jason Omboto, 89, who went missing from Trans Nzoia East sub-county headquarters for five days has been reunited with his family. [Osinde Obare, Standard]

There were tears of joy in Sinyereri village, Trans Nzoia County, when an 89-year-old man who had gone missing for five days reunited with his family.

Jason Omboto disappeared from Trans Nzoia East sub-county headquarters where he had gone to seek help on a monthly stipend for the elderly.

His son, Samson Nyarangi, had escorted him to the Deputy County Commissioner’s office to change the ATM card he uses to receive the cash.

Janet Mokeira, Omboto’s daughter, said Nyarangi left their father seated under a tree outside the deputy commissioner’s office and went to the offices only to come back and find him missing.

The disappearance of the senior citizen caused anxiety to his family as they spent sleepless nights looking for him.

Relatives, with the help of neighbours, split into groups and started looking for him. However, he search, which was extended to Kapcherop in the neighbouring Elgeyo Marakwet County, did not bear fruit.

“We contacted our relatives and searched various places but our mission was fruitless,” said Mokeira. The family also filed a ‘missing persons’ report at Kachibora Police Station.

As the search continued, the family received a call from a relative in Geta, some 50 kilometres from Sinyereri village that Omboto had been found stranded at Suwerwa trading centre.

A story emerged that the man strayed to a home a few kilometres away from the deputy commissioner’s office. It is said the owner of the homestead had thrown a party for his friends.

Once at the homestead, Omboto was served with meals as one of the guests.

Later, he reportedly left the home then walked to Kachibora township where he spent the night in the cold.

The next morning, he started walking to Suwerwa, thinking he was headed home.

It is there that a resident noticed that Omboto was fatigued, hungry and thirsty.

The resident offered him water and food before he alerted the area assistant chief.

The administrator tried to interrogate Omboto to find out where he came from, but Omboto could not answer the questionssatisfactorily.

The assistant chief summoned elders from Omboto’s ethnic background to interrogate him in a bid to trace his home.

Interrogated by elders

“After the interrogation, the elders contacted our uncle,” Mokeira said.

When Omboto arrived home, there were tears of joy.

“Our dad’s appearance has ended our agony, and we thank God for bringing him back home safely,” Mokeira said.

Family members could not hide their joy as the old man reunited with them.

“His disappearance had been haunting me. It has been hard to explain to people how my father went missing from my hands,” said Nyarangi.

According to Mokeira, his father is said to have suffered a memory lapse, leading to his disappearance.

“I think due to his advanced age, he suffered memory lapse,” she said.

Elders led by Keraro said they would conduct a ritual to stop similar incidents in future from occurring in Omboto’s life.

Mokeira told The Standard that the family has bought a white he-goat to be slaughtered during the cleansing ceremony.

“As instructed by elders, we have bought a goat for the ceremony,” Mokeira said.