Nairobi News

GeneralHustleLifeMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Well-wishers raise Sh1.3m to find Kenyan US Marine missing in Puerto Rico

A GoFundMe set up in honour of a Kenyan US Marine who went missing in Puerto Rico last month has so far raised Sh1,315,048 ($10,077) since it was launched on April 1.

The fundraiser was organised to raise $15,000 (Sh2 million) for Corporal Samuel Muturi Wanjiru, 26, who went missing on March 27 while on holiday in Puerto Rico with his partner Natasha Castillo-Vargas.

His disappearance has left his heartbroken family desperate for answers.

According to his mother, who spoke to local media, her son Corporal Samuel Wanjiru, 26, has been missing since March 27, 2024, when he was last seen, and efforts to locate him have been unsuccessful.

Narrating the sequence of events in a recent interview, Muturi’s mother said her son had travelled to Puerto Rico to celebrate his birthday with his partner of five years and had contacted her on arrival, assuring her of the safety of the destination.

The mother was initially concerned for his safety, but he assured her that Puerto Rico was a safe place.

On the day Muturi disappeared, they reportedly went swimming at La Pared beach in Luquillo, but the girlfriend did not stay in the water long, saying she was tired and wanted to take a nap.

Muturi was left to swim, but moments later a strong wave knocked him over and that was the last time he was seen.

The coastguard launched helicopters and planes to look for him, but the search was unsuccessful. The active search was suspended on April 1.

US Coast Guard. later announced that it had suspended recovery efforts after multiple air and surface searches covering more than 260 square nautical miles.

“We keep Cpl. Samuel Wanjiru and his family in our prayers, hoping they find strength and closure during this most difficult time,” said Capt. Jose Diaz, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander.

“I commend the efforts of all responders, who have done their utmost to find Cpl. Wanjiru and who have also responded to numerous cases this month resulting in dozens of lives saved, while also conducting efforts to prevent any further loss of life in our beaches,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, we continue to face similar marine conditions and it’s imperative we remain ready and that beachgoers stay safe daily by monitoring weather advisories and heeding warning signs and red flag conditions to stay out of the water when necessary.”

Muturi’s mother, Natasha Castillo-Vargas, her father are still in Puerto Rico, returning daily to the beach where he disappeared to continue the search.

She expresses disappointment at the lack of substantial support from the US military in the search. The mother highlights her son’s exemplary service, describing him as a decorated Marine known for his exceptional skills.

In the face of this crisis, she has appealed to the public for both financial and emotional support.

“Samuel’s mother and I are trying to get as much resources and help as we can because we are not giving up hope of finding our Samuel. Please, anything anyone can do to help would be greatly appreciated,”  said Castillo-Vargas, muturi’s girlfriend.

In addition to donations, the family is asking for prayers and love during this “devastating and heartbreaking time. We firmly believe in God, as Samuel does, and we have faith that he will be found. Thank you for your support!”