Minnesota police at mercy of Kenyan authorities to find abducted children
Local police are relying on the goodwill of Kenyan authorities as they seek to return to two Shakopee toddlers allegedly abducted by their father last month and taken to Kenya.
It’s been more than three weeks since 33-year-old Shem Ongeri Nyabicha disappeared with his 2- and 4-year-old sons from their Shakopee home.
The children’s mother called police on Aug. 30 to report them missing.
According to court documents, Nyabicha took the kids on Aug. 27 following an argument at the home on Arabian Avenue. He sent his girlfriend a text message saying he and the kids were staying at an undisclosed location for the evening.
Although Nyabicha had threatened in the past to take the kids to his native Kenya, the woman never thought he would since the children had no passports, she later told police.
Two days later, when Nyabicha still hadn’t returned, the woman became nervous and looked for the children’s birth certificates. They were missing.
That same day, Nyabicha called from his father’s home in Kenya. A day later, he allegedly called again and said he had already hurt their youngest son and was going to “finish him off.”
The woman received another call on Aug. 31, in which Nyabicha told her he planned to return to the United States with the children for their first day of school (Sept. 7).
Nyabicha has not returned with the children and has been charged in Scott County District Court with felony counts of kidnapping and deprivation of parental rights.
Shakopee police Detective Corey Schneck said the U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy are working to locate Nyabicha and the children, but the Kenyan government’s involvement is not automatic.
Kenya is not a participant in the Hague Convention on international child abduction, but the country sometimes recognize international warrants and orders for protection, said Schneck.
He is hopeful Kenyan authorities will act due to the alleged threats made against one of the children.
Interpol (an international criminal police organization) has also been notified in case Nyabicha attempts to cross the border.
This is the first international abduction case Schneck is aware of Shakopee police working on.
Schneck said both Nyabicha and the mother of the abducted children are Kenyan nationals.
He said the mother, who is living in the United States on a expired student visa, is unable to go to Kenya until she renews that visa. She is also afraid that Nyabicha will have her killed if she does travel to Kenya, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman requested police assistance at her home when Nyabicha allegedly physically assaulted her in 2010. During that case, the woman said his friends told her if she called the police again, she would never see her children again.
The woman has sole custody of the two boys, although Nyabicha is listed on their birth certificates.
She told police that Nyabicha threatened in the past to take the kids to Kenya for his Kenyan wife to raise if she turned him in for sexual assaults. When she told him she would go to Kenya and get her children, he allegedly responded that he could have her killed in Kenya for $20.
Source- Shakopee Valley News – Shakopee police at mercy of Kenyan authorities to find abducted children