The parents of a four-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from Thika Town, were short of words to express their gratitude after receiving news that their son had been rescued by police on Tuesday evening.
Kelson Kimani’s parents said they survived the four painful days without their son by holding onto prayer and encouragement from friends while following police instructions hoping to get their child alive against all odds.
A few hours before the two were reunited with Kelson at Thika Police Station, the couple, who remained restless, kept staring at their phones waiting for the call that would inform them that their son had arrived in Thika from Kasarani Police Station.
It is at Kasarani, Nairobi, where the police reported the matter first before proceeding to Thika Police Station where the family, local MP Alice Ng’ang’a and journalists were waiting to receive the boy before heading home where scores of relatives and friends were singing and dancing waiting to welcome back the child.
Despite being informed that the boy had been rescued in good health, Kimani’s mother Catherine Nyambura remained tense and anxious.
The police had first said that the boy would be brought home at around 8:15pm but delayed until around 10pm.
RESCUED IN GOOD HEALTH
“The long wait was eased by 9pm news reports which announced that Kimani had been rescued in good health. That calmed down our tension and helped us hold on until Kelson was brought to us,” said Kelson’s aunt.
At about 10pm, the family was asked to go to Thika Police Station where they were briefed about the state of the boy before he was presented to them in full glare of the media.
As soon as the boy was lifted from the car, everyone started screaming and scrambling to catch a glimpse of him.
Overwhelmed by emotions, the family knelt, sang, prayed and received their child giving him hugs and kisses amidst the screams from onlookers.
By Tuesday evening, the kidnappers had sent the family images of their son, demanding for a Sh2.2 million ransom.
Kelson was kidnapped from his parent’s home in Thika’s Section 9 by four gunmen after stealing a substantial amount of money from them last Friday.
He was rescued by police officers trailing the kidnappers at Kasarani as they attempted to transfer him to a different hideout in Mwiki.
Kiambu County police commander Adiel Nyange said a multi-agency team of experts working on the case had been trailing the criminals from Ruaka where they had put up temporarily before being nabbed as they left for a different hideout in Mwiki.
“They have been moving regularly, by the time we caught up with them, they were coming from Ruaka and moving towards Mwiki. Using our machinery, we intercepted them at Kasarani,” said Mr Nyange.
The kidnappers included five women and three men who were all arrested at the time of rescue as a manhunt for three more known female accomplices begun.
“We are happy that as we promised the family on Friday, we have been able to rescue the boy and arrest the culprits. We shall request the court to allow us to hold the suspects longer as we conclude our investigations,” said the county commander.
Among those arrested was the family’s next door neighbour who sources privy to ongoing investigations hinted as the brains behind the kidnapping.
The neighbour is said to have hoodwinked the occupants of Kimani’s home in order to convince them to open the door allowing the gunmen into the house on Friday.
The source also revealed that a taxi driver used by the kidnappers to ferry the child to an unknown location was also arrested.
Kimani looked jovial and seemingly oblivious of what had been happening, and also had different clothes on.
Ms Ng’ang’a urged the police to ensure that the criminals were not bailed out by anyone as investigations continue and that they should face the full force of the law.
“They must face the full force of the law in order to serve as a lesson to any other person who might think of committing a similar offence,” said Ms Ng’ang’a.