Kenyan US Marine goes missing in Puerto Rico as mother appeals for help

A Kenyan US Marine has gone missing after he went on vacation in Puerto Rico leaving his heartbroken family in a desperate search for answers.

According to the mother, who spoke to local media, her son Corporal Samuel Wanjiru, 26 has been missing since March 27, 2024, when he was last seen and efforts to locate him have been futile.

Muturi’s mother recounted the sequence of events in a recent interview, saying that her son had traveled to Puerto Rico to celebrate his birthday with his partner of five years, Natasha Castillo-Vargas, and had contacted her upon arrival, assuring her of the destination’s safety.

Initially, the mother was concerned about his safety but he assured her that Puerto Rico was a safe place.

On the day that Muturi disappeared, it is reported that they had gone swimming at La Pared beach in Luquillo, but the girlfriend did not stay long in the water arguing that she was tired and wanted to take a nap.

Muturi was left swimming but moments later, a strong wave knocked him down and that was the last time he was seen.

The Coast Guard launched helicopters and aircraft to look for him, but those search efforts were unsuccessful. The active search was called off on April 1.

Castillo-Vargas, her father, and Muturi’s mother are still in Puerto Rico, returning to the beach daily where he went missing, continuing to look for him.

She expresses her disappointment with the lack of substantial support from the US military in the search effort. The mother highlights her son’s exemplary service, describing him as a decorated Marine recognised for his exceptional skills.

In the face of this crisis, she has appealed to the public for both financial and emotional support.

Castillo-Vargas has since started a GoFundMe campaign with a target of Sh2 million ($15,000) to help the family with expenses and search efforts while they remain in Puerto Rico.

“Samuel’s mother and I are trying to get as much resources and help as we can because we will not give up hope in finding our Samuel. Please, anything anyone can help with would be most appreciated,” she says.

In addition to donations, the family asks the public for prayers and love during this “devastating and heart aching time.”

“We are firm believers in God as Samuel is too and we have faith that he will be found. Thank you for your support!”

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