17-year-old maid caught in Kabarnet after fleeing with employer’s baby

At 9am on 20 March, Caroline Kipnaigei took her 20-month-old child to her sister’s house at Whitehouse Vineyard in Nakuru town as usual before leaving for work.

She usually leaves the toddler in the care of her sister’s maid, who has been working for more than two months.

In the evening, however, she received reports from the school where her sister’s child was studying that she had not been picked up from school by the maid as usual.

“On Wednesday morning, I left my son at my sister’s place, as usual, before leaving for work. He is usually under the care of my sister’s house girl. In the evening, I got reports that the house worker had not picked my sister’s child at school as she ought to be and we wondered what had happened. I tried calling her but she was not answering my calls,” said Ms Kipnaigei.

She returned home to find that the maid and the child were missing, and after asking neighbours, she was told that the duo had been seen leaving in the morning.

“The house girl used to bond well with the child and she used to do her work very well. When I realized that they were not in the house, I thought that they were just within the estate. Their absence however raised eyebrows when darkness fell and they had not returned,” said the distraught mother.

At 10pm, she reported her missing at the Workers Police Patrol Base in Nakuru town.

When the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) traced the house girl’s phone number on Thursday, she was located in Biretwo in neighbouring Elgeyo Marakwet.

The details of the missing child and the housemaid, as well as the parents’ contact details, were also shared on social media.

On Thursday afternoon, a boda boda rider in Kaptimbor, on the outskirts of Kabarnet town in Baringo Central, saw the missing housemaid and child, identified them from pictures circulating on social media and called the shared number before alerting the police.

“I was on my way heading to Eldoret searching for them when I was called by someone in Kabarnet town claiming that they had been spotted in Kaptimbor shopping center and that is how I traced them to Kabarnet police station where they were being held,” said the mother of one.

“I had sleepless nights wondering where my child had gone with the house girl but I least expected that the child had been kidnapped. I am elated that I found him but I am still wondering why the house girl took her all the way without taking even a single cloth. I just suspect that she was communicating with someone,” he added.

Patrick Tuitoek, a boda boda rider from Kaptimbor, said he saw the house girl and the toddler, who resembled the missing child circulated on social media, having refreshments at one of the shops.

“When we interrogated her she insisted that the child she was with was hers, but she looked suspicious. On further interrogation, she tried to board a motorcycle and that is when we called the police and she was taken to Kabarnet police station,” said Mr Tuitoek.

Confirming the incident, Baringo County Police Commander Julius Kiragu said they had received information from members of the public who had seen a girl with a toddler who had apparently gone missing in Nakuru town the day before.

Police officers took the girl and the child to the police station for further questioning, and it was discovered that she had taken the child from her employer.

“the 17-year-old girl from Tiriondonin village in Baringo North was working in Ms Kipnaigei’s house for two months. We are informed that she went missing with the toddler on Wednesday morning and they were traced at Kabarnet town on Thursday afternoon. We are still carrying out investigations to ascertain the circumstances under which she allegedly kidnapped her employer’s child,” said Mr Kiragu.

According to the police, the house girl went to Eldoret and later to Kabarnet town where she was arrested.

“She is claiming that she was waylaid with the child by unknown people in Nakuru to Kituro in Baringo Central but her claims are not adding up because when we tracked her phone, it shows that she travelled all the way from Nakuru to Eldoret then to Kabarnet,” said the county’s police boss.

The missing child has been reunited with his mother and the housemaid is being held at the Kabarnet police station.


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