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Nathan Hightman, the American man accused of withdrawing and using money from the bank accounts of his missing Kenyan-born girlfriend without permission has pleaded not guilty to all charges leveled against him.
His attorney Steven Titus on Thursday said his client pleaded not guilty to all the four charges on Tuesday afternoon, according to County 17 News.
Hightman, 38, is considered a “person of interest” in the mysterious disappearance of 32-year-old Irene Gakwa, who was reported missing on March 20th this year.
Hightman, who was arrested on May 11th in Gillette, Wyoming, was charged with theft, credit card fraud, and crimes against intellectual property for allegedly using Irene’s credit, banking, and email information without permission.
He earlier told police that he had not seen nor heard from her since she announced that she was leaving Gillette and boarded a dark-colored SUV, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. The suspect admitted to accessing Irene’s bank account and withdrawing money in an attempt to force her to contact him when she needed cash.
Investigators executed a series of search warrants for Irene’s bank account, which showed that Hightman transferred a total $3,666.46 from her account in eight transactions and also changed her banking password.
Another search warrant executed on Irene’s email account showed the account password had been changed from a device with an IP address that detectives traced back to Hightman, per the affidavit.
The affidavit also stated that a warrant for one of her credit cards showed several charges totaling over $600, one of which occurred at Walmart for a shovel, a pair of boots, and a pair of pants that Hightman was seen carrying in a surveillance video of the transaction. The boots and shovel were later located at Hightman’s residence,
A separate warrant for another of Irene’s credit cards revealed a series of charges between February 25th and February 28th totaling $804, while another series of charges between March 1st and March 19th totaled $2,426.
About 10 transactions were traced back to Hightman’s IP address; none of them traced back to Irene’s phone IP address, according to the affidavit. The investigation also revealed that Irene’s email account had been accessed using Hightman’s IP address on March 10th and was closed.
Investigators believe Irene, who has last seen on February 24th when she had a video call with her parents who live in Kenya, was taken to a rural area, mine site, or oil and gas location in a passenger vehicle or crossover SUV between February 24th and March 20th.
Detectives are asking the public for information concerning a gray or silver Subaru Crosstrek with Idaho license plates that may have been trespassing or appearing out of place in rural Converse County between those dates. They are also seeking information about a possible 55-gallon metal drum that may have been burned or abandoned in the county.
Irene’s elder brother Kennedy Wainaina, who works as a pharmacist in Boise, Idaho, said Irene studied and worked in Idaho before meeting her boyfriend on an online dating website.
The two lived together in Idaho for about one and one-half years before the boyfriend suggested they move to Gillette in July last year and she agreed. Irene has lived in the US since 2019 and was a nursing student.
Hiyo kazi tunaifanya kabisa na tunaipenda tu sana lakini tunaomba serikali itusaidie kulipa child support ya hutu tu Obama in 3 States😁.
It's harder to convict without a body but with a good detective the perpetrator will be brought to justice. Usually it's the person (significant other) that has likely caused some or most harm. We watch and see the violence saa zote.
Lakini poleni sana!
That man killed Irene, the sad part is that she’s not an American citizen and is from Africa and black. Not much is going to be done to settle the case. Wyoming is not a place that has a lot of people of color living there. Women should stop going on the internet looking for me to date or to marry, it’s dangerous there are serial killers on those websites looking for unsuspecting women. There’s sex trafficking where women are bought and sold to other countries for sex slavery. The man that Irene took a liking to is a horrible-looking piggish man, he was no good for her. I don’t know why she picked him as her mate. The US is not a haven, it’s a very dangerous place to come to and to try and live. Black people are discriminated against daily, so why would an African person feel things should be better for them when they come? Nathan Hightman used Irene’s credit cards , transferred money from her account to his , he was seen on one of the stores surveillance videos buying a shovel and boots.That there is something that needs to be further investigated.He was not charged for her disappearance but only charged for credit card thief and released in $10,000 bond.That man is guilty as hell and the police department is not going to do much about but make and give excuses for the case.Keep in mind Irene is black and from Africa.That’s where it starts and ends.They May find her someday buried somewhere, and the animal that took her life will get off with some sort of technicality.Very sad I wish her family the best and that their lovely daughter be found.God is the king and he will have the last say so regarding the case.Stop coming to the US
Kenya girls, stay away from these foreign killers. You are better of living with your own. And for the boys, make their girls pregnant in an effort to have a non-white society that will not discriminate against the black people.