Kenya police recapture US murder suspectWed, 14 Feb 2024 15:33:28 GMT

Kenyan police said Wednesday they have recaptured a man whose daring escape from custody made headlines following his arrest on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend in the United States.Kevin Kang’ethe had been detained in January pending extradition to the United States over the death of Margaret Mbitu, but he slipped out of a police station last week.”We have re-arrested the suspect and he is now in custody,” Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei told AFP.He said Kang’ethe had been hiding at a relative’s home on the outskirts of Nairobi, where police found him late Tuesday after a days-long manhunt.”He will now be taken to court to face charges of escaping from lawful custody as he awaits extradition.”According to a police report seen by AFP, a team of 11 officers acting on a tip from members of the public “laid an ambush” for Kang’ethe in Ngong town, 27 kilometres (17 miles) from the capital.A magistrate’s court in Nairobi ruled on Wednesday that Kang’ethe be held in a prison instead of a police cell, pending his extradition hearing. The case over his escape will be mentioned on February 19 for further directions, the court added, while an extradition hearing will take place on March 4.- ‘Embarrassing’ -The escape had left police red-faced, with Bungei describing the events as “embarrassing”.US and Kenyan authorities had launched a manhunt after Mbitu was found stabbed to death in a carpark at Boston’s Logan airport in November.Mbitu, a healthcare aide in Halifax, Massachusetts, was last seen leaving work on October 30.An arrest warrant was issued for Kang’ethe after he fled the United States for his native Kenya, where he was arrested in late January.Police said the suspect, who they identified as aged 41, had been removed from his cell on Wednesday last week for a meeting with his lawyer, and then ran away.Four police officers, two relatives and the lawyer were arrested in connection with his escape and remain in custody.If extradited, Kang’ethe would face a charge of first-degree murder, according to Kenyan police.