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Mystery of Thika welder who was 'kidnapped, assaulted by client'

Wednesday August 7 2019

Makongeni Police Station

Gordon Otieno, 35, was lured by an unknown person who pretended to need his services and was kidnapped at Makongeni in the outskirts of Thika town. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SIMON CIURI
By SIMON CIURI
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Detectives in Thika East are trying to unravel the mystery of a man's near-death experience after an unknown person enticed him with a business deal, only for him to get kidnapped a few hours later at Makongeni in the outskirts of Thika town.

Gordon Otieno, 35, a welder, was at his workplace in Makongeni at midday on Wednesday when he received a call from the unknown person seeking his services.

The person, who wanted doors fixed, said one of Mr Otieno's clients made the referral.

The welder did not question the call since his happy clients often told potential clients of his services.

THE DEAL

Mr Otieno lives at Kiganjo estate in Thika, which is a walking distance to his work station.

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The said job, according to the victim account statement recorded at the Fourteen Falls Police Patrol Base, was to be done at Landless area, not far from Mr Otieno's station.

Mr Otieno and the caller discussed the job and the payment by phone but he called later, at around 6pm, asking to meet him that evening at Ananas Mall in Makongeni.

The caller said they would discuss the job further and then go to the location in order for Mr Otieno to begin the work the next day.

DIVERSION

When Mr Otieno reached the mall, he found the client with a male friend and was told that since it was late, he needed to get into the client's car so they could go to the location for a discussion on the deliverables.

They sat in the backseat as there was a driver.

It was when the driver didn't stop at Landless and diverted to Gatuanyaga that Mr Otieno realised his client was not the person he had pretended to be.

He directed the driver to take the vehicle to an isolated area near Del Monte farm.

ASSAULTED

After about a kilometer's drive into a thicket, the car stopped and Mr Otieno was forced out, dragged into a pineapple farm, forced to lie down and assaulted.

The presence of a car in a bush, its dim lights and the commotion that ensured attracted Del Monte's security guards who rushed to the scene in their van

A police record says that sensing danger, the attackers ran away leaving the vehicle at the scene.

It was later towed to a police station and an investigation launched.

INVESTIGATION

Thika East divisional police commander (OCPD) Michael Mwaura told the Nation that they were following crucial leads and were hopeful the attackers would soon be arrested and charged.

“We have taken the matter with the seriousness it deserves," he said by phone.

Mr Otieno's could not be reached for comment on the matter, security sources saying he was recovering from trauma.

On May 1, police in Thika gunned down a suspected kidnapper in the sprawling Kiandutu slums and found a pistol with four bullets. The operation followed the abduction of two girls from Kenyatta Secondary School in Makongeni.

In October 31, 2018, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations rescued a five-year-old boy from a kidnapper, who was killed.

A woman who had been living with the child was arrested.