Police launch manhunt for teenager who eloped with Grade Six girl

Police in Turkana County have launched a manhunt for a Grade Seven boy for eloping with a Grade Six girl.

The two pupils had been allegedly living together as husband and wife in a house belonging to the 16-year-old boy at Lokichoggio border town and have not been attending school for the better part of this term.

Authorities, acting on a tip-off rescued the girl but the boy managed to escape arrest.  Police are searching for him and his parents.

Julius Ilete, a local senior chief who has been searching for the girl for several weeks, caught the duo enjoying their stay in the house.

The Mogila location chief said the minors have been missing from school from the beginning of the term prompting him and the girl’s parents to launch a search.

"I received a report from the girl's parents that their daughter had disappeared from school. We managed to locate them following a tip-off from the members of the public,” said Ilete.

According to the chief, the pupils had been engaging in an illicit affair.

Lokichoggio Deputy County Commissioner Ooko Anyumba said they are looking for the parents of the boy who are still at large after escaping arrest.

"We deployed security officers to look for the parents who evaded arrest. They will be held responsible for condoning such behaviour. We ask them to surrender to the police to shed some light on the matter," Anyumba said.

Ooko said they would hold teachers from the respective schools responsible for  failure to report the whereabouts of the minors to the authorities after they missed lessons for several weeks.

He said the case has been handed over to children's department for further direction as both pupils are minors.

Separately, police in the area are on a mission to rescue a 9-year-old girl said to have been married off to a 50-year-old man in Lokichoggio - Songot area.

Anyumba said they had ordered the chiefs to hunt down the suspect after the matter was highlighted in the media prompting authorities to act.

The DCC said the girl was still missing and rescue efforts were ongoing.

Cases of early marriages have become rampant in the region as non-government organisations and civil societies intensify campaigns to address the vice in the county.