A missing Kenyan teenage girl has been found with a 26-year-old man who allegedly took her as his wife without the consent of her parents.

The man was arrested after members of the public alerted area’s Chief Peter Oula who received information that the 13-year-old girl was staying in a church owned by the suspect’s father in Rangwe, Homa Bay county, Kenya.

In a report by the Standard, police stormed the church and found the two naked. The man tried to run away but he was nabbed by the officers.

“The young man wanted to escape but police got hold of him. He was responsible for the girl’s decision to drop out of school for an early marriage,” said the chief.

The girl had gone missing from their home for over three months and the parents had reported the matter to the police.

“We have been following up on the case after the girl’s parents reported their daughter had gone missing three months ago,” said Oula. The man’s father tried to stop the arrest saying the girl had gone to the church to receive special prayers.

“The suspect’s father lied to us, saying that the girl had come to church for prayers. This made us conclude he was part of the efforts to have the girl married early,” Oula said.

The suspect, his father and the girl were detained at Rangwe police station.

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