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All 7 bodies found after police officers drown in Baringo

Wednesday May 6 2020

Police search for bodies after Baringo drowning

Rift Valley Regional Police Commander Marcus Ochola (centre) and other police officers during the search for the bodies of colleagues who drowned in Kagir River, Baringo North, on may 1, 2020. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FLORAH KOECH
By FLORAH KOECH
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All the seven bodies of police officers who drowned after their vehicle was swept away following heavy rains in Baringo County have been found.

Following the incident in Kagir River on April 30, the last body was found in Nginyang, about 40 kilometres away from the scene, on Monday night.

County Police Commander Robinson said on Tuesday that the search was therefore officially called off.

He identified the seven officers of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit as Moses Iyadi, Fredrick Ouko, Victor Omollo,  Samuel Nyakundi, Tanui Kipsang, Martin Naibei and Noah Kipng'eno.

They were among 12 officers based in Chemoe, Baringo North, who were returning to their camp from a security briefing in Kabarnet.

Joseph Omboye, Andrew Menisa, King’ori Patrick, Cliff Nyakeniga and Bernard Sigei survived.

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Kipng'eno's body was the last to be found following a search by more than 50 security officers and residents.

He was in the police service for close to nine years and was transferred to Baringo two months ago from Turkana County.

The 32-year-old was the driver of the ill-fated truck.

His brother, Nickson Cheruiyot, said they were relieved that the "traumatising" search had ended.

Mr Cheruiyot said the family received the news via social media on May 1 and travelled daily from Nakuru County to help with the search for the body.

“It has not been easy for us. Searching for the body unsuccessfully for four consecutive days was traumatising and hectic because it involved walking several kilometers along the meandering river, in an area with a tough terrain," he said and noted the financial implications of the exercise.

“The family members, including his wife and two children, can now settle and plan to lay him to rest. We are very grateful for the security team, Red Cross and locals who assisted us with no pay."

FIREARMS

Mr Ndiwa said they also retrieved several firearms that the police officers had and would look for the others after the water in the river receded.

“We commend our officers, the Red Cross team and locals, who despite the tedious walk, never gave up until all the seven bodies were retrieved," said Mr Ndiwa.

County commissioner Henry Wafula said that following the incident, they took precautionary measures to ensure no officer crossed a swollen river especially during the rainy season.