3 Social Justice Missionaries Kidnapped and Murdered

IJM worker Willie Kimani
IJM worker Willie Kimani (Courtesy/IJM)

With deep mourning, International Justice Mission (IJM) today announced that three individuals associated with the organization, including staff member, Willie Kimani; IJM client, Josephat Mwenda; and taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, were killed following their abduction in Nairobi on June 23. 

The bodies of the deceased were found in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River to the northeast of Nairobi on July 1, following an extensive search led by Kenyan police and IJM staff. The group went missing on Thursday, June 23, as they were returning to their homes following a court hearing. No arrests have been made.

"We are deeply mourning the loss of our colleague, Willie, our client, Josephat, and taxi driver, Joseph, and strongly condemn the perpetrators of these murders and the horrific violence inflicted upon these men," said Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission. "IJM exists to protect the poor from violence, and Willie's life was taken while courageously pursuing that mission. As we work to provide comfort and support for the families of Willie, Josephat and Joseph, we are grateful to the U.S. embassy, the local Kenyan police, and our partners globally and on the ground who responded swiftly and professionally to our requests for help. We are deeply grateful to our colleagues on the ground who bravely worked in dangerous conditions to try to locate these men, and we are as committed as ever to our IJM Kenya team and to their struggle for justice in their nation. We will seek justice for Willie, Josephat and Joseph, and will not cease in pursuit of this case until that end is secured."

IJM is closely collaborating with Kenyan local and national law enforcement officials who are leading the ongoing investigation.

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Within hours of learning of the incident, IJM leadership activated crisis response teams in Nairobi as well as Washington, DC, to work closely with police officials on the ground and to support the families involved.

IJM's focus moving forward is to ensure the safety of the families and staff affected by this crime and provide necessary support to law enforcement officials during this critical time.

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