A 19-year-old man has been arrested for defiling a 13-year-old school girl in Kamariny area, Keiyo North.

Sammy Kipkoech was arrested on Tuesday evening at Kamariny escarpment and handed over to Kiptabus sub-location assistant chief Robert Kipkerich.

A resident Anthony Kiplagat said Kipkoech was spotted hiding with the girl in a cave at the escarpment.

Kiplagat said the suspect was apprehended by locals who were on a mission to rescue a paraglider whose parachute came down and fell on the rocky escarpment.

“We were on a mission to save a paraglider when we saw this man with a minor. We suspected there was something wrong and we arrested him,” Kiplagat said.

He said the locals forced him and the girl outside the cave before calling the assistant chief.

Kipkerich said the suspect has another defilement case in court.

The assistant chief said the minor, who is a primary school pupil in the area has been missing for one week after the suspect eloped with her.

“He [Kiplagat] was released on bond over a similar case. We did not expect him to repeat the same mistake,” Kipkerich said.

He said the suspect has been hiding the girl different houses belonging to his friends to avoid arrest.

“We have been looking for the suspect and the girl. We raided a house where we were told that they had spent the night but we didn’t find them,” he said.

Kipkerich urged parents to closely monitor movements of their young girls during the holiday, saying several cases of defilement have been reported in recent weeks.

He said the suspect has been working in cohort with some of his friends to hide the girl in their houses.

“The police and I are also looking for Kiplagat’s friends who have been aiding the hiding of the minor,” he said, adding the suspect is being questioned by police at Iten police station.

The suspect’s neighbour Evelyne Kiplagat said the Kiplagat’s house has been under lock and key and some of his friends would be seen sneaking in some milk and bread.

“I asked him to release the minor but he declined and dared me to report the matter to the police. At some point he tried to bribe me to remain silent,” she said.