Police in Awendo, Migori County in Kenya have arrested a Form Four student, Joseph Odhiambo, who faked his own abduction.
The 22-year-old student of a secondary school in Kisii County disappeared from home on Thursday, January 5, 2023.
Awendo Sub-County Police Commander Mathias Pombo, who confirmed the development on Wednesday, told The Standard that the student’s mother filed a missing person’s report on Friday, January 6.
Pombo said the student, who has since returned home, confessed to smearing cow blood on his vest and made a sharp distress scream before running away from his mother’s compound.
The man told police that it was his friend who advised him to do that to get money from his (suspect’s) mother.
The student told police that he bought the cow blood from a market in Awendo earlier on January 5 and stored it under his bed in a house located a few metres from that of his mother.
“Shortly after wishing his mother good night at 9pm and departing for his house, he made a sharp distress call. When his mother rushed to his house, she only found her son’s blood-soaked vest,” Awendo police boss Mathias Pombo said.
The following morning, the student’s mother went to the Awendo police post and filed a missing person’s report.
The man, in his confession to police, said that night (January 5), he slept in a maize plantation.
The following day, he trekked to Ranen where he spent two nights (Friday, January 6; and Saturday, January 7) in an incomplete building.
On Sunday, January 8, he slept at his friend’s house before embarking on a return-home journey, when it became clear to him that his mother won’t raise the Sh20,000 he’d demanded as ransom.
The man told police that he attempted to use trickery to coerce his mother, a single parent, into sending him money, which he’d pay as school fees.
The mother denied that her son had a major fee balance, terming his actions embarrassing.
The suspect is being held in custody at Awendo Police Station as investigations continues.
Below are photos of his worried mother and other family members speaking to reporters after the ‘staged abduction’