Detectives in Nairobi's Westlands area made a significant breakthrough on Monday night by apprehending Kevin Kangethe, a Kenyan wanted in the US for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Margaret Mbitu, a US nurse in Boston.
The arrest comes after months of international efforts to track down the suspect, who had been on the run since November last year.
Kenyan authorities acted on a tip-off from vigilant members of the public and apprehended Kangethe at a local club. Police revealed that the suspect had an Interpol Red Notice against him, indicating the severity of the charges he faces.
The alleged murder occurred between October 30 and November 4, 2023, in Boston, prompting US authorities to seek Kangethe's arrest.
Senior officials at the Gigiri police station confirmed the arrest, stating that they were awaiting identifiers from US police to proceed with the identification process.
"We have a man believed to be the suspect who is wanted in the US over alleged murder. We are waiting for more profiling to know the way forward," a senior official involved in the investigation stated.
The extradition process will commence once positive identification confirms Kangethe's status as the wanted suspect.
Kenyan detectives received a request from US authorities last November to arrest the fugitive, leading to an ongoing international collaboration between law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Margaret Mbitu's mother revealed that her daughter had been planning to break up with Kangethe. The tragic incident unfolded on November 2, when Massachusetts State Police discovered Margaret's lifeless body in her SUV at Boston's Logan Airport Central Parking garage, two days after her family reported her missing.
The suspect, aged 40, had evaded authorities by fleeing to Kenya shortly after the alleged murder. The US authorities had issued an arrest warrant, urging Kangethe to surrender.
Suffolk County DA Kevin Hayden stated, "We urge this suspect to turn himself to authorities before he or anyone else gets hurt."
US police in the Whitman area disclosed that Margaret was last seen leaving work in Halifax around 11 pm on October 30. Subsequent investigations pointed to her murder, with evidence suggesting the former partner as the primary suspect.
Kangethe's actions, including purchasing tickets for a flight to Nairobi just hours after Margaret's death, strengthened suspicions of his involvement.
The collaborative efforts between the United States and Kenya in apprehending the fugitive were commended by the US embassy in Nairobi.
In a statement, the embassy highlighted the dedication of both countries to strengthening law enforcement cooperation against criminal offenders, emphasizing their commitment to eliminating criminal activities and advancing justice.
"Embassy Nairobi commends the efforts of Kenyan law enforcement for apprehending Kenyan fugitive Kevin Kangethe, suspected to have murdered Margaret Mbitu in Massachusetts sometime between October 30 and November 4, 2023," the statement read.
"United States law enforcement, the Kenyan Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions have been working side by side to locate and capture the fugitive. The United States and Kenya are committed to strengthening law enforcement cooperation to apprehend criminal offenders, eliminate criminal activities, and advance justice."
Upon the news of the arrest, Hayden thanked all the agencies involved saying their efforts would provide Margaret's family and friends with an opportunity for closure.
"Their tremendous and untiring efforts will provide Margaret's family and friends the opportunity to see Kevin Kange the face justice for this terrible crime," Hayden said.
The Mbitu family also said they were looking forward to seeing Kangethe face justice once he is extradited to the US.
The arrest of Kevin Kangethe not only marks progress in solving a heinous crime but also underscores the importance of international collaboration in addressing criminal cases across borders.