Husband of slain Kenyan athlete Agnes Tirop arraigned for her killing

Monday October 18 2021
Agnes Tirop

Kenyan athlete Agnes Tirop. She was found dead at her home on October 13, 2021. FILE PHOTO | POOL


The husband of slain Olympic athlete Agnes Tirop will be detained for nearly three weeks after a court in Iten directed so, to allow police to conclude investigations into the murder.

Ibrahim Rotich, the prime suspect in the brutal killing of Tirop, will be held for 20 days.

Mr Rotich, who is said to have murdered his wife last Wednesday, was on Monday arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Kutwa.

Tight security

He appeared at the Iten court in the Rift Valley at 9:30am under tight security with an escort of more than 10 armed police officers.

There was drama outside the court premises as members of the public threatened to storm in to have a glimpse of the suspect after word went round that he had been brought to take a plea for the murder charge.


Police officers backed by private security guards manning the court gate were forced to secure the premises and allowed only the journalists, court workers, lawyers and those with matters in the court to access it.

Mr Kutwa, who presided over the matter, ordered the suspect to be remanded at Eldoret Central police station for 20 days to pave way for more investigations into the killing of the slain international runner.

Further, he directed that Mr Rotich be taken for mental assessment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

“Since this is a matter revolving around a murder case, I do direct that it be mentioned at Eldoret High Court on 9th November for further directions.”


This was after Senior Director of Public Prosecution Judith Ayuma told the court that detectives expect to arrest more suspects linked to the murder.

“Your honour, I plead for more time because the directorate of criminal investigations officers are yet to go round the country to carry out a probe with a view to apprehending more suspects connected to the killing of the slain runner before being charged for murder,” she said.

Mr Rotich, 41, was arrested Changamwe area in the coastal town of Mombasa after a dramatic late-night chase, which authorities say he was trying to flee the country.

Police say they arrested him just a few minutes to 9pm last Thursday after he crashed his car into a truck during the chase.

Tirop, 25, a two-time world championship bronze medalist, was found dead at her home in Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet County with stab wounds in the neck and abdomen. 

According to police, Mr Rotich was identified as the prime suspect as he was on the run after making a tearful phone call to his family confessing he had done something terrible.

He was arrested alongside another man he was travelling with and had Tirop's mobile phone with him.

Rising star

The deceased was a rising star in Kenya after winning the 2015 world cross-country title at the age of 19, the second youngest athlete ever to win that event.

She also claimed bronze medals in the 10,000 metres at the 2017 and 2019 world championships and finished fourth in the 5,000 metres at the Tokyo Olympics.

Last month, she broke the world record for the women-only 10-kilometre road race.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was one of many who expressed outrage at her killing. The Head of State, who eulogised Tirop as a “Kenyan hero” ordered police to find her killer.

Athletics Kenya has suspended all its events in the country for two weeks in honour of Tirop.