In a daring escape that has sparked an international manhunt, Kevin Adam Kinyanjui Kangethe, accused of murdering his girlfriend in Massachusetts, managed to slip away from police custody in Kenya, authorities revealed on Thursday.
Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei disclosed that Kangethe, awaiting extradition to face charges of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Margaret Mbitu, eluded officers at the police station by seizing an opportunity to jump into a privately owned minivan.
The escape unfolded when a man posing as Kangethe’s lawyer, John Maina Ndegwa, convinced officers to allow him access to his client. Seizing the moment, Kangethe fled the station, leaving Ndegwa behind. Despite a pursuit by officers, Kangethe successfully evaded capture.
The incident has prompted scrutiny of the four police officers on duty, all of whom are now in custody and have provided statements regarding the escape.
Kangethe, 40, had been detained pending extradition following allegations that he left Mbitu’s body in a car at Logan International Airport in October 2023 before fleeing to Kenya. He was apprehended in a nightclub on Jan. 30 after three months on the run.
Efforts to secure his extradition had been underway, with Massachusetts officials collaborating with Kenyan authorities. The suspect had renounced his U.S. citizenship, complicating the legal process.
The court had approved a 30-day detention period while extradition proceedings were underway. However, Kangethe’s lawyer contested the continued detention, citing concerns about his client’s rights.
The escape has raised questions about the integrity of law enforcement in Kenya, where police corruption has long been a concern. Past incidents, including the escape of confessed child killer Masten Wanjala in 2021, have fueled public skepticism about the efficacy of law enforcement.
As authorities intensify their efforts to locate Kangethe, the international community watches closely, hoping for swift justice for the victim and closure for her grieving loved ones.