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Joy as Jeremiah Ndombi's boy lost at Impala club reunites with parents

By Mercy Adhiambo | December 22nd 2015 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

When Jeremiah Ndombi took his family for lunch at the Impala Club on Sunday, he didn't imagine that he would spend the entire night at the club looking for his four year old son.

He remembers the exact time he noticed his son Jonathan Wasike was missing. He even remembers what he was doing when it dawned on him that he couldn't see his first born child.

Jeremiah Ndombi and his 4-year-old son Jonathan Wasike. (PHOTO: MOSES OMUSULA/ STANDARD)

 "It was 3.13 pm and I was heading towards the parking lot when I realised Jonathan was not in the vicinity," said Mr Ndombi.

While they had remained at the lunch table, Jonathan had joined other children at the club's playground just a few metres from where they were seated.

Ndombi suspects that Jonathan might have left the playground to follow his father, but when his father disappeared among other people, oblivious of his son behind him, he left the club.

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It is then that the search begun in earnest, with the family members making frantic calls to their relatives to come and help them comb through the club to find Jonathan.

"I was at home when I got the news. I rushed to Impala and we searched everywhere. We even went to the pool and contemplated draining the water in case he had drowned," said Jonathan's uncle Lawrence Ndombi.

By 5.30 pm, they hadn't found him. They broadened their search to social networks where they splashed his photo with an appeal that anyone who would have seen him to report to the police.

Before long, the photo was being shared and circulated by several people. The Standard Digital is among the platforms that the family used to ensure the message of Jonathan's disappearance reached many people.

Their journey back home began way past 2.00 am when they had searched all possible places the child would have been.

Checking Impala Club's CCTV cameras took a while, but by the time they accessed footage of the day's event, they saw Jonathan walking out of the club.

"The security guards at the gate had told us they didn't see a child walking out, but the cameras showed him disappearing outside the compound," said Jonathan's uncle.

His mother Maria Wanjala said it marked the beginning of a long night that involved her and her friends walking around and asking random people if they could have spotted Jonathan.

What they didn't know is that when their son walked out of the club, a good Samaritan bumped into him along the Langata Bypass and took him to Karen Police station where he spent the night.

Impala Club also approached different radio stations to announce the boy's disappearance, so in an interesting twist of fate, when the good Samaritan heard the advert in the morning, he called Kilimani Police Station where the parents had requested people to report Jonathan's case, and informed them that he had dropped him at Karen.

When The Standard visited Kilimani Police where Jonathan had been reunited with his parents, the little boy, oblivious of the stress his disappearance had caused his parents was running around and playing. His father would pick him and hug him, perhaps in a show of relief of how dangerously close they had gotten to losing their son.

"He is my alarm clock – the one who wakes me up every morning," said his cheerful father.

His mother, who was overwhelmed by emotions, said no mother should ever go through the pain of losing their child.

"Even one minute of realising you cannot find your child is too long," she said.

Kilimani DCIO Phylis Kanina said she was called by a person known to her and informed she had read online and heard on radio there was a child missing.

"The caller told me she had found the boy on Sunday night along the Lenana by pass and took him to the Karen police station. And when I went there I found he is the one," said Kanina.

She added the boy's details had been shared among many police agencies.

But what was shocking was that the Karen officers had rushed to court with the boy seeking orders to take him to a children's home.

This forced police to make another application to cancel the order that had been issued to take the boy to the children's home.

"We told the court the boy's parents were there and able and it was an unfortunate case before we were allowed to take the boy. It was good news to the parents," she said.

missing persons Kilimani Police Station Jeremiah Ndombi
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