Kenyan Police have launched a manhunt for the boyfriend of distance runner Damaris Muthee Mutua after she was discovered stabbed to death in the town of Iten.
Police said Mutua, 28, was found in "a state of decomposition" at the home of her boyfriend, an Ethiopian athlete. Iten's chief of police, Tom Makori told AFP: "According to Mutua's immediate neighbour, her boyfriend was seen in the house on Sunday morning.
"It's likely that the incident happened late Saturday or early Sunday since the body was in a state of decomposition. We have launched a manhunt for the Ethiopian who is believed to have fled the country."
Police also said Mutua's boyfriend had confessed to a training partner that he had killed her.
""The suspect called a friend whom they were training together and informed him that he has killed a girlfriend and the body was in the house," Makori added to Reuters.
Mutua is the second female athlete to have been found stabbed to death in recent months in the town, which is known as a centre for long-distance runners. Less than a year ago, Kenyan runner Agnes Tirop was found dead in Iten.
Her husband, Ibrahim Rotich, was later arrested and charged with her murder after attempting to flee the country. Tirop was found with stab wounds to her neck and stomach and Roitch, who has pleaded not guilty to her murder, remains in custody.
Tirop's death prompted many in Kenya to speak out about what they say are deep-rooted issues of female athletes facing abuse from partners. Kenyan sports lawyer Sarah Ochwada told AP news : "There's a trend.
"The most talented are targeted because of their potential to make money. The abusers always promise to protect them. But over time, it’s those same protectors who begin to abuse them if the female athletes attempt to seek their own independence or use their own finances."
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