Police in Kenya on Monday announced they have arrested two men in the fatal stabbing of Ugandan Olympic runner Benjamin Kiplagat. Per The Associated Press, Kiplagat was found with stab wounds in his brother’s car on New Year’s Eve.
Moiben sub county police commander Stephen Okal said one of the suspects had what was believed to be the murder weapon when they were apprehended. Okal also said they suspect the motive behind the 34-year-old’s killing was a robbery as a cell phone and money were taken away from the victim.
The incident is said to have occurred in the Kenyan town of Eldoret – which is a high-altitude location where renowned athletes usually camp. Police also said the suspects slit Kiplagat’s throat.
Besides taking home the bronze medal at the 2012 African championships, Kiplagat, who was a long-distance runner, also featured in 3 Olympic games and six world championships, The Associated Press reported.
The deceased victim’s fatal stabbing also comes after three other athletes were similarly killed around that location. In 2021, Kenyan professional long-distance runner Agnes Tirop was found with fatal stab wounds at her residence in the town of Iten. Her husband is currently facing trial for her murder.
In 2022, the decomposing body of Kenyan-born Bahraini athlete Damaris Muthee was found in a house in Iten. An Ethiopian athlete staying in that home has since been linked to her death – though he is yet to be arrested.
Rubayita Siragi, a Rwandan runner, was also killed during a fight with a fellow athlete. Police said they suspect the physical altercation stemmed from a dispute over a woman.