Kenyan police have arrested the husband of Olympic distance runner Agnes Tirop as the investigation into her death continues, authorities have confirmed.
Tirop, 25, was found stabbed multiple times in her home in Iten, Kenya, on Wednesday. Emmanuel Rotich, her husband, was detained in Mombasa on Thursday, George Kinoti, the director of criminal investigations, said.
“The suspect has been arrested in Mombasa,” Kinoti said in a statement. “He is in custody and he was arrested while fleeing. He will face charges once investigations are completed.”
Kenya’s athletics federation has suspended all activities for two weeks in the wake of Tirop’s death, with tributes from the athletic community pouring in from around the world.
Countrywoman Hellen Obiri, who won silver in the 5km race in Tokyo where Tirop finished fourth, told the BBC: “It was shocking news to me that Agnes is no more. I have raced with Agnes in so many races, recently in Tokyo.
“I was hoping Agnes would take over from me but it was an untimely death for her. May she rest in eternal peace.”
Last month, Tirop smashed the women’s 10km world record in Germany, crossing the line in 30:01 to shave 28 seconds from the previous record held by Morocco’s Asmae Leghzaoui from 2002.
In early October, Tirop finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race.
She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000m, and also won the 2015 World Cross Country Championships.
“Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement late on Wednesday.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach added: “Her performances at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gave hope and inspiration to so many people. My thoughts go to the Kenyan Olympic community and especially to her friends and family.”