Kenyan police have announced that they have arrested the husband of long-distance runner Agnes Tirop, a two-time bronze medalist at the world championships, who was found dead at her home.
Tirop, 25, who represented Kenya over 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, was stabbed in the neck with a knife. Police said Thursday they had arrested Emmanuel Rotich in the coastal city of Mombasa, hours after begging him to surrender.
“The suspect was arrested today and is in custody at Changamwe police station in the coastal region,” Tom Makori, police commander of Keiyo North sub-county, told Reuters. “I can now confirm that we have [our] main suspect in our custody.
The Criminal Investigations Directorate said on Twitter that Rotich was arrested after crashing his car into a truck, claiming he was trying to flee the country.
“The suspect is currently being questioned by detectives at Changamwe police station for details of the murder, before being brought to justice on murder charges,” the management said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for a swift investigation into Tirop’s death.
Last month in Germany, Tirop broke the women’s 10km world record, crossing the finish line in 30:01 to shave 28 seconds off the previous record set by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui in 2002.
In early October Tirop finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race. She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 world championships in the 10,000m and won the 2015 cross country world championships.
“Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, posted on the Olympics Twitter account: “I am deeply shocked by the tragic death of Agnes Tirop, a young and bright talent. His performances at Tokyo 2020 gave hope and inspiration to so many people. “
TV footage obtained by Reuters showed Tirop’s distraught friends and relatives leaving his residence, while police used a cordon to ward off others who had come to ask what had happened.
“The girl was so jovial, in fact, we traveled with her to Nairobi on the day we returned from Tokyo,” said Milka Chemwos, a representative of Athletic Kenya.