Athlete Edward Kiplangat alias Benjamin who was found murdered in Eldoret
Police in Eldoret have arrested two prime suspects linked to the murder of an athlete whose body was found in a car in the town.
Moiben sub-county police commander Stephen Okal confirmed that the two suspects arrested included a boda boda rider in the region.
He said a knife suspected to have been used to stab the athlete was recovered from the suspects.
37-year-old Edward Kiplangat alias Benjamin from Elgeyo Marakwet County was found murdered on Sunday.
He was a long-distance runner specializing in the 3000m steeplechase.
“We have the two suspects in custody and they have been positively identified,” said Okal.
He said the two were wanted criminals who had been tormenting residents of the region for long.
Okal said the motive of the killing appeared to be a criminal incident and that a mobile phone and money were stolen from the athlete.
“We have cast our net wide as we go on with investigations to arrest anyone else involved”, said Okal.
Kiplagat has been competing for Uganda where he holds the 3,000m steeplechase
Okal said the body of the athlete was found with a deep knife cut on the neck.
The body was found in a car in Texas near Kimumu Secondary School along the Eldoret-Iten Road
An abandoned motorcycle was also found next to the vehicle.
All his items were found intact in the car.
“Our officers are on the ground following crucial leads”, said Okal.
He said the victim had been identified as an athlete who was well-known in the region.
Police sources said he had been attending a meeting with fellow athletes near Nyaru area in Elgeyo Marakwet before he left at about midnight on Sunday.
Athletics Kenya (AK) officials led by Barnabas Korir mourned the athlete.
“We urge the police to speed up investigations and bring to book his killers,” said Korir.
He had previously represented Uganda at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
The deceased athlete had competed in a series of competitions including the Shanghai Samsung Diamond League, Lausanne Athletissima in Switzerland, Paris Meeting Areva and Hengelo Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in the Netherlands.
He began by competing in the 10,000 metres, but on the advice of his coach, he dropped down to the 1500 and 5000m and later steeplechase