A baby kidnapped while playing outside their house in Pipeline, Nairobi, about a week ago has been reunited with her parents.
In a video shared by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on social media, Baby Michelle’s parents, Hellen and Robert Ooko, and their friends broke into song and dance following the reunion yesterday.
Residents living at an estate in Pipeline, broke into jubilation as they welcomed the safe return of baby Michelle Kemunto, who went missing one week ago. The three-year-old angel who disappeared on June 8, was today reunited with her parents by our Embakasi based counterparts. pic.twitter.com/0gq74Nlhd9
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) June 16, 2021
According to the DCI, Baby Michelle was kidnapped as she played with her friend Ashley, outside their house on June 8, 2021.
The kids’ parents had left them to play as they went about their house chores, oblivious of the dangers that the babies had been exposed to.
A child predator, who was watching them from a distance, approached them and within no time Michelle was nowhere to be seen.
According to Ruth Atieno, the good samaritan under whose care Michelle has been since her disappearance, a middle-aged woman who was carrying two babies had approached her and asked her to hold one baby for her.
“Atieno told our officers that the woman said she was going to pick up something at Mradi in Tassia and couldn’t make it with her two babies, at one go. Atieno, therefore, agreed to stay with the baby for a while,” said DCI.
In their conversation prior to being left with the baby, Atieno had told Michelle’s supposed mother that she earns a living through cleaning people’s houses and doing their laundry. The stranger then asked for Atieno’s phone number, promising to link her up with many of her friends who would be seeking her cleaning services.
Excited that her network and client base would grow, she gladly agreed to be left with baby Michelle. That was the last time Atieno saw the woman.
As she pondered her next move after hosting baby Michelle for three days, the woman called and informed her that she had been involved in a grisly road accident and had been admitted at Mbagathi Hospital in critical condition, that’s why she had not picked up her baby.
She apparently requested Atieno to hand over the baby to another person, whom she was intending to send.
However, Atieno who had become jittery wouldn’t hear of it and insisted that she comes for the baby herself. After the call, Atieno accompanied by her neighbours, rushed to Tassia Police Post and filed a child neglect report.
Atieno, according to the DCI, all along believed that the baby belonged to the woman who had alleged to be in hospital and thought that she was only abdicating her parental responsibilities by leaving her.
Detectives based at Embakasi Police Station probed the matter and helped Baby Michelle be reunited with her family.
The sleuths are currently pursuing the woman the kidnapper who is still at large.
Police believe the woman is part of a larger syndicate behind the spate of child kidnappings, that have rocked parts of the country in recent months.