Who wanted US conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin dead? Family waits for justice three years later
The family of slain US conservationist is still seeking justice for Esmond Bradley Martin. It has been three long years of waiting for justice for the late Martin, 75, who was found dead at his Karen home on February 4, 2018.
The globe-trotting American had spent decades risking his life investigating illegal trade of ivory and rhino horn.
Before he met his death, Martin had returned from a research trip to Myanmar and was in the process of compiling his findings. He succumbed to a stab wound in the neck.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the remote controlled panic alarm unit that was always at Martin’s bedside, under the bed. Martin was alone in his house since his wife, Cherry Perry, a conservationist too, had gone for a meeting.
The family through lawyer Meshack Omari, has officially appealed to US embassy in Nairobi to pile pressure on Kenyan police to act on the case since there has neither been any arrest nor criminal prosecution.
“This case replicates a pattern of violent murders and crimes in Kenya in which foreign investors of good standing have been victims of crimes which have gone unresolved and caused Kenyan police, judiciary and State institutions to be perceived negatively,” says Omari in a letter to the US ambassador.
The killers did not steal anything from the renowned conservationist.
His pockets had a mobile phone and wallet containing Sh11,000 while his watch was left on the table. The family claims Directorate Criminal Investigations (DCI) informed them the agency needed help from outside.
“We wrote a letter dated October 6, 2020 and copied the same to the United States Ambassador to Kenya. The DCI said it requires assistance from American embassy,” says Omari.
Martin’s family has also sought help from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The man’s relatives say they are ready to cooperate with investigations. Police initially thought the killers either wanted to stop his investigations into the black market of ivory or someone wanted to grab his Sh1 billion property. Martin was the third owner of the land, which originally belonged to scouting movement founder Lord Baden Powell.
The deceased first came to Kenya in the 1970s when there was a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory. The family had hired a private investigator from South Africa but no crucial leads were found. However, the investigator recommended workers of the late conservationist to be subjected to a polygraph examination.
There appeared to me no forced entry into the house and his wife arrived home a few minutes past 6pm and did not sense anything wrong until almost an hour later. She announced her arrival with “I am back” and headed straight to the library assuming the husband was in the study room upstairs.
But when she checked in the study room minutes later, Martin was not there. She proceeded to her bedroom since the couple slept in separate rooms. With darkness setting in and no sign of Martin around, Cherry became suspicious. The woman went to check for Martin in the bedroom where she found the man dead with the mouth gagged with a tie.