A murder suspect accused of killing a Massachusetts woman and leaving her body at a Boston airport in Oct. 2023, escaped prison in Kenya Wednesday, according to authorities in Nairobi.
40-year-old Kevin Adam Kinyanjui Kangethe was in custody in Kenya awaiting an extradition ruling to the U.S. on first-degree murder charges in the death of 31-year-old Margaret Mbitu, whose body was found in the Boston Logan International Airport parking garage.
In a statement to ABC News Thursday, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, DA Kevin Hayden says he hopes for "justice" for Mbitu and her family. "We have been informed by federal officials that Kevin Kangethe has escaped from police custody in Kenya. It is our hope that Kenyan law enforcement will do their utmost to recapture Kangethe so that we can continue seeking justice for Margaret Mbitu and her family," Hayden said.
Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei told the The Associated Press Kangethe escaped prison around 4:00 p.m., local time, Wednesday when John Maina Ndegwa, who claimed he was Kangethe's attorney, requested to speak with his client.
"The officers agreed to his request and removed the prisoner from the cells and took him to (an) office… leaving them there. After a short while the prisoner escaped by running away and left the (attorney) behind," according to a police report, obtained by AP.
The report notes that four police officers on duty at the time of the escape are in custody and have recorded statements. The search for Kangethe is ongoing according to the outlet.
Chief Bungei called the incident "embarrassing."
"We have arrested the officers who were on duty when he escaped to explain how it happened. It is just embarrassing to us," Bungei told AP.
On Nov. 1, 2023, Mbitu was found dead in a vehicle left in the parking garage at Boston Logan International Airport two days after her family had reported her missing, Massachusetts State Police said in a statement at the time.
Massachusetts authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Kangethe, who boarded a plane to Kenya after the alleged homicide.
Kangethe and Mbitu reportedly knew each other and police say they believe the homicide was not a random act.
After a three-month international manhunt, Kangethe was arrested at a nightclub by Kenyan authorities on Jan. 30.
At the time, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden praised the international efforts to arrest Kangethe.
"I'm extremely grateful to the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, the FBI, Kenyan law enforcement agencies, the Kenyan government and the Massachusetts State Police for bringing the person accused of Margaret Mbitu's brutal murder into custody," Hayden said in a statement in January.
According to The Associated Press, Kangethe had renounced his U.S. citizenship and was being detained for 30 days in Kenya while the extradition issue was heard.
On Feb. 2, senior assistant director of public prosecutions Vincent Monda requested the court endorse Kangethe's extradition proceedings, AP reported.
Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina was set to give further rulings on the matter on Feb. 9.
Man accused of killing woman in Massachusetts escapes prison in Kenya: DA originally appeared on abcnews.go.com