US police want Kenyan man over abduction of sons

Wednesday September 21 2011

By ANTONY KARANJA in Dallas, Texas

A father allegedly abducted his two sons from their home in Shapokee, Minnesota, US, and fled to Kenya.

Mr Shem Ongeri Nyabicha, 33, is alleged to have kidnapped his two sons aged 2 and 4 years old on August 27 after an argument with his girlfriend.

The State Department in conjunction with the US Embassy in Nairobi is relying on the goodwill of the Kenyan Police to arrest Mr Nyabicha.

According to court documents filed at the Scott County District Court, Mr Nyabicha sent a text to his girlfriend stating that he and the boys were staying overnight at a location he did not specify.

However, he did not return the boys home, and on August 30, the mother called the police to report them missing.

She told the police that Mr Nyabicha had earlier threatened to take the children to Kenya but she did not believe him as they did not have passports.

Two days after Mr Nyabicha failed to return, she discovered that the children’s birth certificates were missing.

She told the police that Mr Nyabicha had called from Kenya and told her that he had already hurt their youngest son and was going to “finish him off.”

On August 31, he called again telling the woman that he would return to the US with the boys in time for the new school semester commencing on September 7.

He has not yet returned and has subsequently been charged with felony counts of kidnapping and deprivation of parental rights.

US authorities are working to locate Mr Nyabicha and the children but this might prove difficult as Kenya is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on international child abduction although it sometimes honours international warrants.

Shakopee police hope Kenyan authorities will act due to the alleged threats made against one of the children.

Interpol has also been alerted in case the man attempts to cross the Kenyan borders

The woman has sole custody of the children though Mr Nyabicha is listed on their birth certificates as their father.

In 2010, the woman called the police to the couple’s home after Mr Nyabicha allegedly physically assaulted her.

She also told police that he had earlier threatened to take the children to Kenya and to have her killed if she travelled there to get them.