Damaris Muthee Mutua, a Kenyan-born Bahraini athlete, was found dead in a town in the East-African country's west on Tuesday. Police officials confirmed that they are currently launching a search for her Ethiopian boyfriend, the primary suspect in her killing.

Mutua's body was discovered in the world's popular running hub of Iten in western Kenya. The 28-year old athlete competed for Kenya as a junior athlete and won two bronze medals at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore and the East African junior athletics championships in Khartoum before shifting her allegiance to Bahrain.

The body of Mutua was taken to a nearby hospital. County police chief Tom Makori told AFP, "According to Mutua's immediate neighbour, her boyfriend was seen in the house on Sunday morning. It's likely that the incident happened late Saturday or early Sunday since the body was in a state of decomposition."

Police think Mutua was killed over the weekend. "We have launched a manhunt for the Ethiopian who is believed to have fled the country." Police were looking for Mutua's boyfriend, Eskinder Hailemaryam Folie, who had allegedly confessed to the killing, he said.

According to police, the man had been training at the same facility and had since fled Kenya. "The suspect called a friend whom they were training together and informed him that he has killed a girlfriend and the body was in the house," Makori said.

The Iten athletic base, a famous training place for long-distance runners and top athletes, also made noise in Oct. 2021 when the record-breaking distance runner Agnes Tirop was found stabbed to death in her home.

The killing of Tirop, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist, shocked the athletics world. Tirop's estranged husband Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich, who has denied all accusations against him, has been charged with her murder and currently remains in custody. A bail hearing for Rotich has now been set for April 27 after being postponed multiple times.

Tirop's death caused many in Kenya's running community to speak out and hold protests against what they claim to be a deep-rooted problem of domestic violence against female athletes in Kenya.

Kenyan flag
A supporter holds a Kenya flag in the women's preliminary round pool A volleyball match between Japan and Kenya during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

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