Joy as missing Nyeri baby found after 7-day search

As they inched closer together, their faces grew warmer and teary.

Emotions ran high as Mr Michael Kariuki finally held his one-year-old son, who had been missing for a week after being stolen by his nanny.

Baby Ian Kariuki was allegedly taken away from his home in Kiamwathi village in Nyeri on May 31 by his 46-year-old nanny Jane Nyambura.

On the fateful day, the family says that Baby Ian Kariuki’s mother Joyce Wanjeri left for work at around 7.45 am, after seeing her six-year-old eldest child off to school.

She left baby Ian sleeping on her bed. The nanny’s duty was to prepare breakfast for him, feed him, and then continue with her household tasks. But the two were last seen by neighbours in the compound at around 11 am.

This would then lead to an endless search with various leads showing that the nanny had been spotted severally in Mweiga town which is 30 kilometres away from baby Kariuki’s home.

Yesterday, residents of Kigogoini in Tetu Sub-County raised alarm after a hungry, and unkempt woman was found living in Kigogoini forest.

“She was spotted by some women who were cutting coffee bushes next to the forest,” explained Mr Kariuki.

In the forest, she had created a cave using bushes and made a bed from grasses. The two had been living in the forest for the past seven days.

Locals who spoke to the police said that they first spotted Ms Nyambura on Thursday, June 6 when she came out to Kigogoini market to purchase bread and get some water.

“We were told that she was seen alone since she had left the baby lying in the forest,” explained one of the officers in the case. At the time, the police officer said that Ms Nyambura only had Sh35 which she used to purchase bread.

On Friday, when the two were found by the residents at around 2 pm, they appeared hungry and weak as they had not eaten the whole day.

The duo was then taken to the nearest homestead which is a kilometre away and fed before alerting the police.

According to baby Kariuki’s father, the toddler was healthy and dirty.

“He had soiled himself and had not changed his clothing for the past week that they had been living in the forest,” he explained.

Upon reuniting with his family, Baby Kariuki was taken to a hospital in Nyeri town for a health check-up while Ms Nyambura was taken to Nyeri Central Police Station.

The family says that during the last two months, they employed the suspect as their domestic worker, they had not experienced any worries.

“Nyambura was introverted, peace-loving, and never harassed my two boys. She was recommended by her niece who resides in our neighbourhood in Kiamwathi,” said a family member.

Previously, the suspect was a caretaker for an elderly woman living in Chaka town in Nyeri.

She quit the job after complaining that she was being overworked by being assigned farm chores.


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