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Family recounts how boy was kidnapped by gang in night of horror

Detectives are investigating the kidnapping of a four-year-old boy in Thika town on Friday night. The detectives were on Saturday tracking down the gunmen behind the act.

Thika West Deputy County Commissioner Tom Anjere said police launched investigations into the kidnapping as soon as the matter was reported, and have substantial leads that could help them trace the whereabouts of the child.

Addressing the press after meeting the aggrieved family, Mr Anjere said the incident had necessitated the area security committee to recall officers who were on leave to help in investigations to establish the whereabouts of the boy.

NOT A NORMAL INCIDENT

“This is not a normal incident in Thika, we are giving it the attention it deserves to ensure it does not recur; we are also asking the public to inform us in case they come across the young boy,” said Mr Anjere.

Kelson Kimani was kidnapped by four gunmen who had raided their house in Thika’s Section 9 on Friday evening where a substantial amount of money was stolen.

The distressed family suspects the gunmen took off with the boy in order to demand ransom.

The incident happened moments after 6pm when the boy’s mother, Catherine Nyambura, left the house for Thika town where she had gone to close shop for the day.

Ms Nyambura told journalists that upon arriving in town where they run a family business, her husband tried to make her run a few errands but she refused, saying she felt a strong desire to go back home immediately to check on the children.

“He tried to send me to the supermarket but I refused; the urge to go back to the house was so strong and since he had already closed the shop, I boarded a tuk tuk and went back,” said Ms Nyambura.

CHILDREN SCREAMING

It was upon arrival at her house that she heard her children screaming from inside and saw a stranger manning the gate.

“I sensed danger and tried to get back to the tuk tuk that was already returning to town but the stranger stopped me from fleeing and ordered me to get inside the house where I found my children, their grandmother and house-help locked up in one room. They locked me up in the same room,” she said.

To stop further screams, the children’s mouths were taped as the thugs searched the house for money, threatening to shoot anyone who refused to cooperate.

Afterwards, the thugs ordered Nyambura to open the master bedroom, which she did, and they took all the cash and other valuables.

“All this while, they had held my last-born boy who is a year old but his wailing forced them to free him and they threw him towards me.

Sensing that they would pick up her seven-year-old daughter, Nyambura hid her under the bed.

Unfortunately, they grabbed Kelson and left with him amidst her pleas.

THREATENING TO SHOOT

All this while they were threatening to shoot anyone who would dare to scream.

The gunmen then sped off with the boy using a car that is said to have been parked somewhere behind the house.

Reliable sources say that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident and is being held at Thika police station for interrogation.

The family said they have no idea who could be behind the raid, saying they do not have any issues with their business associates and friends.

They have, however, been receiving calls from strange people demanding ransom ranging from sh3,000 to Sh10,000 — calls which they suspect are from Kenyans seeking to cash in on their predicament after their contacts went viral in a poster shared on social media.

“We have informed the police about the calls and they have advised us accordingly. We just want our son back or left somewhere open where we can trace him. We hope he does not get harmed,” said Kelson’s father.