Two cousins are feared to have drowned in River Rupingazi after they went missing during a swimming adventure near Embu GK Prisons on Sunday afternoon.
A bicycle belonging to Emmanuel Murimi, 17, and clothes of his cousin, Alex Mwenda, 14, were found near the river bank on Monday following an overnight search.
Murimi, a Form Three student at Kajiuduthi High School in Tharaka Nithi County had left with Mwenda, a Class Eight pupil, to swim in the river about two kilometers away.
Mwenda’s father, Mr Mark Musee, recounted how his son informed him that he was going to visit his cousin in Dallas Estate from where they left on a bicycle.
A distraught Mr Musee said he later received a distress call from his wife Ms Esther Murugu around 7pm, telling him that their son, an only child, had not yet returned home and could not be traced.
They mounted a search within town, making frantic calls to friends and relatives, and later went to Itabua Police station and the Embu Level Five hospital but did not find them.
A break came in the morning when a friend of the missing boys revealed he had overheard them saying they would ride to River Rupingazi.
It is there that they found the bicycle and clothes.
“However, we did not find the boys. We are devastated and we appeal for help to find them,” he cried.
The residents mobilised a search team that scoured the river, but they soon gave up after about an hour.
Embu Central Assistant County commissioner Dennis Ongaga who spoke at the scene said they had called for help from professional divers.
“We can’t speculate for now, but we have mobilised a search team. I urge people to exercise patience as investigators and rescuers work,” he said.
He also cautioned parents against letting their children to near rivers which are now swollen following prolonged and heavy rainfall pounding region.