Fresh details have emerged about how a man awaiting extradition on a Massachusetts warrant alleging he killed his girlfriend and left her body in a car at the Boston airport escaped from police custody.
Adam Kevin Kinyanjui Kang’ethe slipped out of a police station cell and jumped into a matatu and escaped towards Thika on Wednesday, February 7 evening, police said.
This prompted a fresh search on him even as four police officers who were on duty were detained over the escape.
Four police officers and a lawyer were arrested over the drama and are helping in the probe into the same, police said.
It has emerged the escape happened as Kang’ethe met a lawyer at the station at about 5 pm.
According to police, Kang’ethe had been removed from his cells after the lawyer came to the station and said he wanted to have a word with him ahead of the planned hearing of his extradition case on Friday, February 9.
The lawyer identified as John Maina Ndegwa who introduced himself to the officers as a personal advocate to the prisoner said he wished to talk to him. Ndegwa is among those who appeared for him last week in court.
The officers agreed to his request and removed the prisoner from the cells and took him to one of the anti-crime offices leaving them there.
Other officials argued the meeting should have taken place across the counter at the report office.
After a short meeting, the prisoner escaped by running away and leaving the advocate behind, police said.
At the time of the escape senior police officers there were coincidentally holding a meeting/lecture with all the anti-crime personnel.
The officers who were manning the fugitive said they realized Kangethe had escaped after walking back into the room and found the lawyer there alone.
They raised the alarm and rushed out after seeing Kang’ethe race towards Thika Road.
Kangethe then jumped onto a matatu that was at the bus stop and asked the driver to take off amid shouts from the officers who were chasing him. It vanished.
Police say they have details of the matatu and efforts to trace the crew and owner were ongoing. Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei said a fresh search for him began immediately.
The police chief said he rushed to the station when he learned of the escape.
Kangethe, 40, had been detained pending a ruling on whether he should be extradited to face a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Margaret Mbitu on October 31, 2023.
Massachusetts State Police said in early November 2023 that Kang’ethe had left her body in a car at Logan International Airport and boarded a flight to Kenya.
Massachusetts officials said they were working with Kenyan authorities to locate him, and he was arrested in a nightclub on January 30 after being on the run for three months.
Kang’ethe had renounced his U.S. citizenship, which prompted the extradition process. The court had approved a police application for him to be detained for 30 days while the extradition issue was heard.
Officials said had he been an American citizen, he would have been repatriated without a court process.
On February 2, prosecutor Vincent Monda asked the court to endorse the U.S. warrant for Kangethe’s arrest and issue directions for the extradition proceedings.
The suspect’s lawyer sought directions on surrendering Kangethe to the U.S. and opposed his continuing detention as disregarding his rights.
Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina was to give further directions on the matter and issue orders related to the bond issue on Monday, February 9.
Mbitu, a health care aide in Halifax, was last seen leaving work Oct. 30 and reported missing by her family.
The prosecution in Kenya said the preliminary investigation showed Mbitu had left her workplace and travelled with Kang’ethe to Lowell, where he lived, the prosecution said.