Husband arrested in killing of Olympic runner Agnes Tirop
16 October, 2021, 2:20 pm
The husband of Olympic runner Agnes Tirop has been arrested and will be charged with her murder after Kenyan police launched a nationwide manhunt and found him in the coastal city of Mombasa trying to flee the country, authorities said.
Ibrahim Rotich was arrested just before 9pm Thursday, police said, but only after crashing his vehicle into a truck in a car chase with police and escaping a first attempt by officers to apprehend him about 460 kilometres from Mombasa. He was finally arrested hours later in the eastern city.
Rotich was immediately identified as the prime suspect and police said he went on the run after making a tearful phone call to his family confessing he had done something terrible.
Rotich was arrested alongside another man he was travelling with and had Tirop’s cell phone with him, police said.
The Directorate for Criminal Investigations said Rotich was being questioned at a police station and would be charged with murder.
Tirop was a rising star in Kenya after winning the 2015 world cross-country title at the age of 19, the second youngest athlete ever to win that event. She also claimed bronze medals in the 10,000 metres at the 2017 and 2019 world championships and finished fourth in the 5000 metres at the Tokyo Olympics.
Last month, she broke the world record for the women-only 10-kilometre road race.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was one of many who expressed outrage at her killing. Kenyatta, who is on an official visit to the United States, said Tirop was a “Kenyan hero” and ordered police to find her killer.
The Kenyan track federation suspended all its events in the country for two weeks in a mark of respect for Tirop.