Back in May 2019, Irene Gakwa moved from Kenya to the United States to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. However, Gakwa is currently missing under mysterious circumstances and her family is searching for answers.
Not long after arriving in the United States, Gakwa fell in love with a man she met on Craigslist named Nathan Hightman and moved nearly 800 miles from her home in Idaho to him in Gillette, Wyoming.
Her family says that after she moved, communication with her slowly decreased until it completely stopped in February 2022.
Since she was reported missing on March 20, 2022 and Hightman has been charged with deleting money from her checking account, using up her credit cards and deleting her email account, but has yet to be arrested. charged in connection with her disappearance.
Hightman used the missing woman’s credit card to buy shovels and boots after she went missing
It was later discovered that Hightman had used Gakwa’s own credit card to buy boots and a shovel.
However, Hightman insists Gakwa has left him and that he has no idea where she might be. Could there be more to this disappearance than catching the eye? The Shadow Room investigates…
In 2019, Gawka moved to the Boise, Idaho area for a better life. She had several brothers who lived in the area, and she started taking courses to eventually become a nurse.
After meeting Hightman through a personal ad on Craigslist, one of her brothers said he immediately had a bad feeling about him, worse yet, that her behavior started to change. changed not long after.
Rarely does anyone act impulsively, she’s traveled 800 miles to live with Hightman, and hasn’t even told anyone she’s moving or who she’s going to live with.
Family said they had “bad feelings” about her boyfriend even before the woman went missing
That’s when communication started to fade, according to her brother Kennedy Wainaina.
Wainaina said his sister would regularly check in with him via daily text, but that all stopped on February 24, 2022.
Then he got a call from his father, who still lives in Kenya, who said he also hadn’t heard from Gawka for quite some time.
“He said, ‘I tried calling her, video calling her, texting her, and she didn’t reply to my texts, so I was worried,’ Wainaina told TSR Investigates ‘Justin Carter. “I called her 10 or 15 times, and she never answered. That’s when I knew something was wrong.”
Wainaina said that’s when he called police in Wyoming to check on his sister’s welfare.
“Her boyfriend opened the door and (to the police) ‘Yeah, Irene left about a week ago. She just came home one night after dinner and said ‘I’m tired of this town, I’m moving out.’
Her boyfriend told police she packed two plastic bags of clothes before leaving in an SUV
According to court documents obtained by The Shade Room, Gawka packed two plastic bags worth of clothes and said she was leaving Hightman’s Wyoming home.
According to reports, Hightman told officers she left in a dark SUV and never heard from her again.
However, court documents also show he withdrew money from her bank account, telling police the reason he did so was to “force her to contact him in case she He needs money.”
But her family did not buy Hightman’s claims.
“If she left him, at least she would have called,” her brother continued. “She would at least say, ‘Hey guys, can you come pick me up or help me? I’m moving.'”
Wainaina said his sister initially contacted him through WhatsApp, but something went wrong.
He said that she used to use Swahili and Kenyan slang in her messages, but suddenly it all stopped and her texts were sent in English and Kenyan slang words. use seems to be suggested via Google translate.
The brothers actually shared a phone plan, allowing Wainaina to peruse her profile. He finally learned that the last time her phone rang on March 4 in Gillette.
Her WhatsApp account was deleted a few days later, her phone stopped working on March 10. Gawka was reported missing 10 days later.
Same goes for Gawka’s laptop.
Her brother added that Gawka’s bank account credentials were changed from an IP address in Gillette, where Hightman lives, just a day after her family reported her missing in February.
Authorities say he used her account to buy a shovel and boots from a Walmart area after she went missing.
Hightman has not been charged with the disappearance of the missing woman, but has been charged with burglary for stealing her credit card.
Hightman has not been charged in connection with Gawka’s disappearance.
However, he was arrested on two counts of theft, one felony credit card unauthorized use and two felony theft of intellectual property, two months after she went missing for his unauthorized use. her credit and debit cards, after changing her password and deleting her Gmail account.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges, and was released on a $1,000 fine.
Gillette Police are asking the public for any information regarding Irene’s disappearance, and have received several tips so far.
Authorities are also asking the public to watch out for a 55-gallon metal drum that could be burned or abandoned in the area.
TSR Investigates explores cold cases and special interest news stories that get little coverage in the mainstream media.