Kenyan police say they arrested the husband of long-distance runner Agnes Tirop, a two-time world championship bronze medalist who was found dead in her home.
Tirop, 25, who represented Kenya in the 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, was stabbed in the neck with a knife. Police said Thursday they had arrested Emmanuel Rotich in the coastal city of Mombasa, hours after begging him to surrender.
“The suspect has been arrested today and is being held at the Changamwe Police Station in the coastal region,” Tom Makori, Keiyo North sub-county police commander, told Reuters. “I can confirm now that we have [our] main suspect in our custody. “
The Criminal Investigations Directorate said on Twitter that Rotich was arrested after ramming his car into a truck, saying he was trying to flee the country.
“The suspect is currently being questioned by detectives at the Changamwe Police Station, to obtain more details about the murder, before being prosecuted to answer the murder charges,” the management said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for a speedy investigation into Tirop’s death.
Last month in Germany, Tirop broke the women’s-only 10km world record, crossing the line in 30:01 to cut 28 seconds from the previous record, which was set by Asmae Leghzaoui of Morocco in 2002.
In early October, Tirop finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race. She claimed bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000m, and won the 2015 World Cross Country Championships.
“Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach posted on the Olympics Twitter account: “I am deeply shocked by the tragic death of Agnes Tirop, a brilliant young talent. His performances at Tokyo 2020 gave many people hope and inspiration. “
Television footage obtained by Reuters showed Tirop’s anguished friends and family leaving his residence, while police officers used a cordon to keep others who had come to ask what had happened away.
“The girl was so jovial, we actually traveled with her to Nairobi the day we were coming home from Tokyo,” said Milka Chemwos, Athletics Kenya representative.