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Boyfriend arrested as Kenyan woman goes missing in US

A Kenyan family living in the United States is searching for their relative who went missing in February.  Ms Irene Gakwa disappeared from Gillete in the state of Wyoming and the family suspects that her boyfriend Nathan Nightman, 38, has something to do with it.

The Nation has established that Nightman was charged with multiple felonies as he allegedly used her credit cards several times after she disappeared.

Irene’s brother, Chris Gakwa, said the family suspected that something horrible might have happened to their kin and requested the police to investigate.

“We have a reason to believe that something terrible might have happened since she is not known for being silent for such a long time,” he said.

Mr Gakwa said Nightman had been found guilty of using his missing sister’s email and stealing her banking cards.

An affidavit filed in a court in Gillette revealed that Nightman was arrested and questioned by the police over the disappearance. Nightman denied that he had interacted with her, claiming that she had left Gillette in March and bid him goodbye before boarding a dark-coloured SUV.

“She used to call our parents almost daily and kept in touch with us. My sister is not a silent person. We believe she might not be okay,” Mr Gakwa told the Nation by phone.

Investigations by the Gillette police revealed that Nightman, a US national, had stolen more than Sh366,600 from Ms Gakwa. He spent Sh60,000 to purchase a pair of boots and a pair of trousers at a Walmart store. The suspect was captured as he carried the items from the supermarket after he had paid for them using Ms Gakwa’s banking card.

Detectives said Nightman also used the card from his home address and they found a total of 10 transactions. They have interviewed Ms Gakwa’s friends and associates and have executed about two dozen search warrants with the aim of finding her.

The family said their missing kin, who is nursing student, has been living in the US since 2019. US-based media outlets said Ms Gakwa met her boyfriend on a dating website but he instantly started controlling her. The suspect even forced her to move from Idaho to Wyoming.

The family was also concerned when they received strange text messages from her phone on March 3. In the messages she informed her family that she would be moving to Texas because she did not like it in Gillette.