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GoFundMe for Missing Kenyan US Marine Raises Over Kes.1.3 Million

A person searching a beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, for U.S. Marine Cpl. Samuel Wanjiru (seen inset)

A GoFundMe set up to help the family of a Kenyan US Marine who went missing in Puerto Rico is getting closer to its goal of $15,000(approx. Kes.1.98 million).

By 6 PM Tuesday, April 16, donors had contributed just over $10,000 (Ksh 1.33 million) to support the search efforts for Corporal Samuel Muturi Wanjiru, 26, who vanished on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, after apparently being swept away by a current at La Pared beach in Luquillo.

Cpl. Wanjiru was vacationing with his partner Natasha Castillo-Vargas, who reportedly was napping when the incident occurred.

Search operations, including helicopters and other aircraft, were dispatched the same day to locate Wanjiru, but efforts yielded no results.

Active Search Called Off

On April 1, the Coast Guard ceased active search operations to locate Cpl Muturi Wanjiru meaning the search would transition to a passive phase, in which all coastal municipalities near Luquillo would still pay attention to their coasts.

The operation wrapped up after Coast Guard air and surface units conducted 14 air searches and one surface search, spanning a total of 264 square nautical miles of ocean.

Castillo-Vargas, accompanied by her father and Muturi’s mother, are in Puerto Rico, returning to the beach daily where he disappeared, persistently searching for any sign of him.

Expressing her disappointment with the limited support received from the US military in the search effort, Cpl. Wanjiru’s mother emphasized her son’s outstanding service, portraying him as a decorated Marine.

She has reached out to the public, appealing for both financial assistance and emotional support.

“We ask that people send prayers and love during this devastating and heart aching time. We are firm believers in God as Samuel is too and we have faith that he will be found. Thank you for your support!” The marine’s family said.

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