Press Releases & News Articles

  • People

    Boyfriend of Missing Nurse Irene Gakwa Jailed for 6 Years After Admitting Stealing Her Money Before She Vanished

    "We are happy with the outcome of the current charges," Kennedy Wainaina tells PEOPLE exclusively. "However we are still wondering what happened to our sister, Irene"...

    • CNN

      Former boyfriend of missing Wyoming woman sentenced to six years in prison

      The live-in boyfriend of Irene Gakwa was sentenced Wednesday to up to six years in prison and ordered to pay more than $13,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from her in the weeks after she vanished more than a year ago in Wyoming...

      • Wyoming Truth

        Local Team Resumes Search for Missing Gillette Nursing Student

        The makeshift memorial caught Stacy Koester’s eye. She put on the brakes and inched her black Audi sports car backward along the gravel road to get a better look. A small wooden cross, adorned by a pink plastic carnation, was surrounded by a circle of rocks among craggy shrubs and cheat grass on the side of the hill at LAK Reservoir, outside Newcastle in Weston County...

        • News Nation

          Fiancé of missing woman admits to draining her bank accounts

          The most movement in the case has come from Gakwa’s finances. Police arrested Hightman and charged him with draining her bank accounts, deleting her email account and using her credit card at Walmart to buy a shovel, a pair of boots and a pair of pants...

          • CNN

            Irene Gakwa’s live-in boyfriend confesses he stole money from her account after she vanished

            The live-in boyfriend of missing woman Irene Gakwa has pleaded guilty to stealing money from her in the weeks after she vanished a year ago in Wyoming...

            • Forbes

              The Disappearance Of Irene Gakwa—Boyfriend Pleads Guilty To Financial Crimes But Gakwa Remains Missing

              Nathan Hightman pleaded guilty to withdrawing and spending thousands of dollars from his girlfriend Irene Gakwa, whose disappearance in Gillette, Wyoming, more than a year ago has drawn widespread interest and conspiracy theories...

              • Gillette News Record

                ‘I was shocked’: Guilty pleas and jail time give ‘light’ to family of missing woman

                For Irene Gakwa's family, the decision this week to revoke Nathan J. Hightman's bail while leaving the maximum penalties in play for each of the three felonies he pleaded guilty to came as a sign of hope...

                • CNN

                  The family of a woman who vanished a year ago in Wyoming turns to the governor for help
                  • Wyoming Truth

                    THE SEARCH FOR IRENE: Missing Kenyan’s Whereabouts Remain a Mystery

                    In the deepening mystery of the disappearance of Irene Gakwa, new information has emerged indicating that the Kenyan who lived in Gillette may have recently moved to San Antonio, Texas, according to a search of public records by the Wyoming Truth...

                    • County 17

                      Irene Gakwa

                      All County 17 articles on missing person Irene Gakwa...

                      • Wyoming Truth

                        THE SEARCH FOR IRENE: Fiancé of Missing Kenyan Granted Second Continuance in Irene Gakwa Case
                        • NBC News

                          Family still searching for answers five months after mysterious Wyoming disappearance of Irene Gakwa
                          • CNN

                            The search for a missing woman in Wyoming partly revolves around a mysterious 55-gallon drum
                            • Headline News

                              Correspondent Adrienne Broaddus reports investigators in Wyoming are asking for your help in finding Irene Gakwa.
                              • CTV News

                                She moved to the US with big dreams and met a boyfriend on Craigslist. Then she vanished
                                • And Then They Were Gone

                                  Irene Gakwa
                                  • THE WYOMING TRUTH

                                    THE SEARCH FOR IRENE: Gillette Group Ramps up Efforts to Find Missing Kenyan as Her 33rd Birthday Passes With No Answers
                                    • UNSOLVED WYOMING

                                      Irene Gakwa Update
                                      • ARCTIC FOX TRUE CRIME

                                        Irene Gakwa Disappeared Under Suspicious Circumstances!!! Have You Seen Her?? #irenegakwa #missing

                                        The Gillette Wyoming Police Department is asking for your assistance in the investigation into the Disappearance of 32 year old Irene Gakwa. Irene was last seen on a video call with her parents on 2/24/22, However she was not reported missing until almost a month later on 3/20/22...

                                        • GILLETTE NEWS RECORD

                                          Fiancé of missing woman arrested for allegedly stealing from her

                                          The investigation into the disappearance of Irene Gakwa took a turn this week when police arrested her fiancé, Nathan Jason Hightman, for five felony charges related to money he was accused of stealing from Gakwa’s credit card and bank account...

                                          • CITY OF GILLETTE

                                            Update: Missing Person Irene Gakwa
                                            • COUNTY 17 NEWS

                                              Gillette man accused of stealing thousands of dollars from missing woman

                                              By Ryan Lewallen | County 17 News -May 12, 2022 

                                              Funds taken in a series of thefts shortly after family’s last contact with Irene Gakwa

                                              GILLETTE, Wyo.— A missing Gillette woman’s fiancé has been charged with multiple felonies for reportedly using her credit cards and other information several times since her disappearance...

                                              • CITY OF GILLETTE

                                                PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                Missing Person Investigation Update & Request for Assistance
                                                GILLETTE, Wyoming- The Gillette Police Department’s investigation into the disappearance of 32-year old Irene Gakwa continues. Information obtained through investigation suggests Irene went missing under suspicious circumstances. Irene was last seen in a video call with her parents on February 24, 2022. Irene was reported missing to the Gillette Police Department (GPD) on March 20, 2022 by her brother...
                                                • COUNTY 17 NEWS

                                                  Person of interest identified in ‘suspicious’ missing woman case

                                                  GILLETTE, Wyo.— A Gillette woman who has not been heard from since February is believed to have disappeared under suspicious circumstances, the Gillette Police Department (GPD) said on Thursday.

                                                  The investigation into the now suspicious disappearance of 32-year-old Irene Gakwa is well underway; detectives have executed 24 search warrants and interviewed multiple family members and friends in their attempts to locate her, GPD said in an April 14 statement...

                                                  • The Wyoming Truth

                                                    THE SEARCH FOR IRENE: Fiancé of Missing Kenyan Pleads Guilty to Felony, Financial Crimes
                                                    • County 17

                                                      Hightman pleads guilty to 3 felonies against missing Gillette woman
                                                      • People

                                                        Boyfriend of Missing Nursing Student Irene Gakwa Pleads Guilty to Stealing Her Money After She Vanished
                                                        • CNN

                                                          The family of a woman who vanished 8 months ago in Wyoming is frustrated by a new delay
                                                          • KTVB

                                                            Irene was reported missing in late March from Gillette, Wyoming, where she lived with her boyfriend. Her brother Christopher Gakwa said he just wants her home.
                                                            • ABC

                                                              Family seeks answers in 7-month search for woman who went missing in Wyoming
                                                              • People

                                                                Nursing Student Irene Gakwa Disappears Mysteriously in Wyoming: 'This Is Unbearable,' Says Dad

                                                                Francis Gakwa always doted on his daughter Irene, the youngest of his three children. "We were always very close," Francis, 64, tells PEOPLE from Nairobi, Kenya, about the 33-year-old nursing student he called "my Irene."...

                                                                • Citizen Digital

                                                                  Irene Gakwa's Father Speaks On His Daughter's Disappearance After Meeting A Man Online.
                                                                  • CNN

                                                                    She moved to the US with big dreams and met a boyfriend on Craigslist. Then she vanished
                                                                    • THE WYOMING TRUTH

                                                                      THE SEARCH FOR IRENE: Community Joins Together for Fourth Search to Find Missing Gillette Resident
                                                                      • SUBLETTE EXAMINER

                                                                        Gillette group helps out-of-state family in search for missing woman
                                                                        • UNSOLVED WYOMING

                                                                          Missing: Irene Gakwa
                                                                          • WYOMING TRUTH

                                                                            Strangers Join Family to Search for Missing Kenyan in Gillette
                                                                            • GILLETTE NEWS RECORD

                                                                              Fiancé of missing woman bound over on theft-related charges

                                                                              The man accused of stealing from his missing fiancée’s bank account and using her credit cards without permission has been bound over to District Court on five felony charges.

                                                                              Circuit Court Judge Lynda Bush, who was recently appointed by Gov. Mark Gordon, found probable cause for Nathan Jason Hightman to be bound over on two counts of theft, two counts of crimes against intellectual property and unlawful use of a credit card...

                                                                              • COWBOY STATE DAILY

                                                                                Fiancé Of Missing Gillette Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Felonies Related To Crimes Against Her
                                                                                • COWBOY STATE DAILY

                                                                                  Boyfriend of Missing Gillette Woman Charged with Multiple Felonies

                                                                                  By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

                                                                                  The boyfriend of a missing Gillette woman who has been identified as a “person of interest” in her disappearance has been charged with multiple counts of theft, accused of stealing items from her...

                                                                                  • KENYA NATION

                                                                                    Boyfriend arrested as Kenyan woman goes missing in U.S.

                                                                                    A Kenyan family living in the United States is searching for their relative who went missing in February.

                                                                                    Ms Irene Gakwa disappeared from Gillette in the state of Wyoming and the family suspects that her boyfriend Nathan Hightman, 38, had something to do with it...

                                                                                    • MWAKILISHI

                                                                                      American Boyfriend of Missing Kenyan-Born Woman Arrested in Gillette, Wyoming

                                                                                      An American man linked to the mysterious disappearance of his Kenyan-born girlfriend was last week arrested in Gillette, Wyoming.

                                                                                      Nathan Hightman, 38, is considered a “person of interest” in the disappearance of 32-year-old Irene Gakwa, who was reported missing on March 20th this year.

                                                                                      As reported by Oil City News, Hightman was arrested by officers from the Gillette Police Department on May 11th for multiple felonies, one for unlawfully using Gakwa’s credit card and two for crimes against her intellectual property since her disappearance...