FBI take over case of Irene Gakwa reported missing in the US
Officers attached to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) this week spent eight hours trying to piece together what might have transpired before Ms Irene Gakwa, a Kenyan living in the United States (US) went missing.
The FBI officers were also accompanied by police attached to Gillette Police Department and had secured a warrant to investigate evidence tied to the case.
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Ms Gakwa, 33, has been missing since February 2022, and police officers in the US have been questioning her boyfriend identified as Mr Nathan Hightman over the matter.
Mr Hightman, 38, has since been charged with five felonies that are related to Ms Gakwa’s disappearance which include; stealing money from her bank account, and changing her passwords.
The two charges have since seen the police describe the man who met Ms Gakwa through an online dating application as a ‘man of interest.’
On Thursday, the officers arrived at the house where the two lived which is located along Pathfinder Drive in Northern Campbell County and condoned it off using crime scene tapes.
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International media houses reported that “more than six vehicles were parked in front of the house.
“Detectives applied for and were granted additional search warrants to further the investigations. Analysis of evidence has led to the development of additional cause to return to the residence that Ms Irene shared with the main suspect,” a statement by Gillette Police Department read in part.
Police officers were seen leaving the premises with several items which include; grocery bags and cardboard boxes.
They also refused to give information on whether Mr Hightman was at his house when the search was being conducted.
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In an earlier interview with this reporter, her brother Chris Gakwa said the family suspected that something horrible might have happened 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 that Hightman had been found guilty of using her email and stealing her banking cards.
An affidavit filed in a court in Gillette revealed that Hightman was arrested and questioned by the police over the disappearance.
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He 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 on a daily basis and also kept in touch with us. My sister is not a silent person because we believe she might not be okay currently,” Mr Gakwa told the Nation by phone.
Investigations by the Gillette police revealed that Hightman, a US national, had stolen over 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.
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