Agnes, who was discovered stabbed to dying at house within the Rift Valley of western Kenya, was a rising star within the nation’s extremely aggressive operating circuit, ending fourth within the 5,000m on the Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s simply loopy as a result of I nonetheless image her operating that race in Germany once we had been all cheering for her,” mentioned Viola Cheptoo Lagat, sister of Bernard Lagat and an athlete in her personal proper, who watched Agnes’s record-breaking closing win.
“She was actually completely happy as she had achieved certainly one of her life targets to interrupt a world report. Now she had large goals.”
Whereas a police investigation continues to be ongoing, Tirop’s associate, Ibrahim Rotich – reportedly 20 years her senior – is in custody and the primary suspect, in keeping with the area’s Directorate of Felony Investigations, Andolo Munga. “The post-mortem report and the suspect’s confession notice, along with the homicide weapons – a knife and a picket membership (rungu), have given us overwhelming proof, which factors to homicide,” he advised the Nation.
Family and friends say that they had lately learnt of Rotich’s emotional, bodily and monetary abusive behaviour in the direction of Agnes.
“After she got here again from the Olympics, Agnes moved again house, as she advised us this man [Rotich] had slapped her and threatened to interrupt her legs with a rungu,” mentioned Vincent Tirop, father of Agnes. “We advised her to remain house and practice, so each morning she’d run on that street outdoors,” he mentioned, pointing to a rust-coloured observe.
However as wet season descended, the filth street grew to become a mudslide, Agnes determined to maneuver 38 miles north to the Kenya Athletics coaching camp in Iten to organize for her subsequent race. Iten can be the city the place she shared a house with Rotich. “We thought she could be secure there as a result of the coach advised us there have been safety guards watching over the grounds,” Vincent added.
‘I didn’t see Agnes, I assumed she was asleep’
On the cool night of Oct 11, Evelyn Tirop, the late athlete’s youthful sister, who can be a runner, mentioned Rotich arrived on the camp with a male buddy requesting to see Agnes.
“Agnes advised me they had been forcing her to return with them, so I accompanied her to his homestead,” mentioned Evelyn, 20, who says she was involved for her sister’s security after studying of the abuse. “However they appeared completely happy and he didn’t present any points, so I went to sleep within the subsequent room.”
The next morning, Evelyn woke early and located Rotich in the lounge. She mentioned he had a wierd request: that she ought to go to the butcher to purchase meat.
“It was solely 7.30 within the morning, so I advised him I may go later as a result of I needed to accumulate my certificates [from school],” she mentioned. “I didn’t see Agnes, I assumed she was asleep.”
Later that day, Evelyn says she acquired a name from Rotich telling her to not return to the home, as he and Agnes could be taking a visit to Nairobi. When she requested to talk along with her sister, Rotich advised her she was unavailable.
When she reached her mother and father’ village, Evelyn acquired one other name, this time from a cousin of Rotich, who requested if she knew the whereabouts of Agnes as a result of she and Rotich had had an altercation. An unease stuffed her abdomen and the younger woman tried phoning her sister a number of occasions, however the line was off.
Evelyn and her mother and father determined to report Agnes as lacking to the Iten Police station. The following morning, Agnes was discovered useless, laying in a pool of blood.