Irene Gakwa last spoke with her family in Kenya on Feb. 24, 2022. During the WhatsApp video call, her family noted something was off about Gakwa, 32, who they described as looking tired and hungry. One month later and after receiving a series of curious text messages that did not seem like they were written by Gakwa, her family reported her missing.
Gakwa’s family did not know that she was living in Gillette, WY, with Nathan Hightman, whom she met on Craigslist. Hightman said Gakwa left their home in late February and he had not seen her since. Hightman transferred almost $4,000 out of Gakwa’s bank account in the month after her disappearance. He also used her credit card and eventually maxed it out. As such, Hightman has been charged with theft and unlawful use of a credit card. But he has not been charged with any crimes connected to Gakwa disappearing, although he is considered a person of interest. The search for Gakwa is ongoing.