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Family Appeal for Missing Kin  

A family in Nyacaba village in Juja Sub County, Kiambu County has been living in distress for the last 23 years following the disappearance of their daughter Elizabeth Wanjiku.

The family is appealing to the members of the public to help find her, to bring an end to decades of mental torture.

They claim they have reports that the thirst for fun and high end life drove their daughter to the Kenyan coast, and she has never returned home or contacted any member of their family all that while.

Wanjiku was 20 years old when she left the village for Nairobi in August 1996, to collect money that well-wishers had pledged for a harambee for a local Church.

The third born in a family of 11 left on a Thursday, and was expected back before the following Sunday for the harambee.

“After she failed to return, we thought she was an adult and was searching for greener pastures or even got engaged. But years passed by, and each time we feared the worst had happened to her. We had scanty information since there were no mobile phones and social media to contact her,” said her father John Kinuthia.

However, in 2012, the family got a bit of hope after one of the girls who hails from the village and who spends most of her time in the Kenyan Coast claimed to have bumped into her in a top end hotel in the area in the company of a German friend.

“I heard someone call me by my home name and was a bit surprised since I’m not known by that name here. We talked briefly and she told me that she travels a lot with a German friend. It was a long time ago, so I can’t recollect a lot about what we talked about,” Nina, who is  held up in Dubai due to Covid-19, told Wanjiru’s family on the phone.

The family now thinks that the lure for fun, entertainment and money has blinded their daughter to the point of staying away from them for decades.

Her brother George Njoroge said Wanjiku’s return was the only way to find peace as a family. “She left when I was 10 years old, I’m now a family man,” he said.

He said since then, his parents have suffered mental torture, wondering what became of their daughter who almost became a preacher.

“Once we talk about her as a family, my parents cry their hearts out. They are really disturbed by my sister’s decision to stay away. They hope one day she will be back so as to rest the case,” said Njoroge.

The family has since formed a committee to help in searching for Wanjiku, which has circulated her photos on social media and to the police to see if she could be traced.

The committee chair, who is also an in-law to the family John Ndun’gu, said they hoped to find Wanjiku soon.

“She left when her parents were in their 50’s and they are now approaching 80 years old, suffering from several ailments and mental torture. Her parents have always maintained that they did not wrong their daughter before she left. What could have been wrong?” wondered Ndung’u.

He added,” Since she left, Thika Super Highway has since been done, and with it came huge development in real estate in this area. I know she can get lost once she comes back, but we ask that she asks around and would be directed home,” said Ndung’u.

Bishop James Kinyanjui of Fountain of Faith Church in Juja where Wanjiru used to attend described her as a God fearing girl who had qualities to become a pastor in future.

He said Wanjiru’s disappearance came as a shock to the church given the rate at which her influence among her peers was growing but hoped that she would be back home soon.

He took issue with the many young people who flee to the Kenyan Coast and become blinded by fun and high end life, leaving their families forever.

By Muoki Charles

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