Agnes Jebet Tirop, a Kenyan Olympic distance runner, was found dead from what is believed to be a stab wound in her home on Wednesday. She had been reported missing by her father on Tuesday.
Tirop, who was just 25 years old, was a young track star for Kenya. She won bronze in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, finishing third in the 10,000 meter event. She took home gold in the 2015 World Cross Country Championships, the second youngest medalist in the history of the event, and participated in the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were delayed to this year, finishing fourth in the 5,000 meter event.
Just last month, she had perhaps her most impressive professional race, breaking the world record in the 10 kilometer race, running it in 30:01. Her mark shattered the previous record of 30:29, which was set back in 2002.
“When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor,” head of police Tom Makori said, per the BBC. “They saw she had been stabbed in the neck, which led us to believe it was a knife wound, and we believe that is what caused her death.”
Kenyan athlete Agnes Jebet Tirop, who represented Kenya 🇰🇪 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 5000m, has been found dead in her house with stab wounds to her abdomen.
She was just 10 days away from her 26th birthday. Rest in peace Queen! pic.twitter.com/dbqACcTUG6
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) October 13, 2021
“Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found,” Makori continued. “Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop.”
Kenya’s athletic body put out a statement about the tragic news:
“Athletics Kenya are distraught to learn about the untimely death of World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop,” the country’s athletics body said in a statement.
“We are still working to unearth more details surrounding her demise. Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track.”
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has also called for law enforcement to get to the bottom of the alleged killing.
“It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we’ve lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, had brought our country so much glory. It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetuated by selfish and cowardly people.
“I urge our law enforcement agencies to track down and apprehend the criminals responsible for the killing of Agnes so that they can face the full force of the law.”
We’ll have more on the tragic death of Agnes Jebet Tirop as it comes out.