Who is Irene?

Irene was always an introverted child, she loved spending time by herself or with her parents as a kid. She is the youngest of three children by Francis and Joyce Gakwa. Kennedy is her oldest brother and Chris is the second oldest. Although there is an age gap of 5-6 years between each of the siblings, they’ve managed to stay close and support each other through difficult transitions and life stages. As kids, the Gakwa children’s favorite holiday was Christmas because the entire family would come together to celebrate with some delicious food and gifts for the children. Each of the kids would get a bottle of Fanta, which was their favorite soda. 

Irene has always been quiet and enjoyed her independence. She is very close with her parents, and has always taken good care of them. Family has always been number one priority for the Gakwa family, and Irene held this value true for us. 

When Irene first moved to the states in May 2019, she helped her brother Chris and his wife Joyce with their sons and worked in a group home taking care of the elderly. She is so good with kids and older people, and is very patient and caring. When living in Idaho with her family, Irene always had good advice to her nieces and nephews, and a witty comment or joke for any situation. 

After meeting her most recent boyfriend, Irene moved in with him for a short time before they moved to Gillette, Wyoming in July 2021. At this time, the family felt this distance and began feeling worried about Irene’s wellness. We remembered how independent she is and believed that she would be okay. Irene had been working towards her nursing degree while in Gilette at Gilette College. She would video call her parents almost every day even when she chose not to talk to the rest of the family, and when she stopped making those video calls is when we knew something was wrong. 

Since Irene’s disappearance, each family member has felt her absence, especially her parents who are back home in Kenya.  Irene brings so much joy to our family through her sense of humor and attitude. When Irene was staying with us, we’d enjoy tea and bread together every morning and throw big family dinners almost every weekend. Irene has had a beautiful impact on our family and our community. She has always been passionate about helping others, and we are excited and hopeful to have her back in our lives. Irene is truly one of a kind, and all we want is for her to be safe and continue her happy life with her family and loved ones. 

Irene was last seen by her parents via video call on February 24, 2022. Please share any information you may have on the situation and where she may be so that our family can bring her home. 

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