The husband of a Kenyan Olympic long-distance runner who was found dead this week in a grisly stabbing has been arrested, according to reports.
Agnes Tirop, 25, was found dead on Wednesday with apparent stab wounds to her neck in her home in Western Kenya. One day later, police in Kenya managed to apprehend Tirop’s husband, Ibrahim Rotich, who is also a world-class long-distance runner. After two days on the run, Rotich was found Thursday night local time in the city of Mombasa, Reuters reported.
“The suspect has been arrested today evening and is in custody at Changamwe police station in Coast Region,” Tom Makori, sub county police commander for Keiyo North, told Reuters. “I can confirm now we have main suspect in our custody.”
The details of Tirop’s killing are scant but very graphic. She was reportedly found with stab wounds in her neck as well as her abdomen. Police said they believe there was a domestic argument before Tirop was killed. They pointed to Tirop’s car having its windshield and windows smashed as apparent proof of their suspicions.
Still, there were no immediate reports of a definite motive in the killing. It was also unclear if Rotich admitted to the killing, but Kenyan authorities suggested he had been charged with murder.
“The suspect is currently being grilled by detectives at Changamwe police station, for more details into the murder, before being arraigned to answer to murder charges,” according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kenya, which described in a Twitter thread how Rotich was caught.
“Rotich had rammed his getaway vehicle into a lorry at Athi River, along Mombasa road, as he desperately escaped out dragnet,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in a tweet.
The Associated Press reported that Tirop’s killing sent shockwaves across the East African nation. Local news outlet the Nation reported that her death has also “re-ignited calls for the return of capital punishment in the country.”
Tirop’s track and field accomplishments are noteworthy.
She won bronze medals in the 2017 and 2019 women’s 10,000 meters world championships races and came in at fourth place at this past summer’s Tokyo Olympics in the 5,000 meters race. Tirop also last month broke the world record for a women’s 10K race in Germany. IN 2015, Tirop became the second-youngest person to win the world cross-country title at the age of 19.
May she rest in power.