Updated Sunday 5pm: Irish national Keegan (33), who was originally from New Zealand, was found dead in the Kenyan capital yesterday. He was identified by documents found on the body, and by the photograph of Keegan which appears on his website.
A police statement said the body was found “in a drainage trench” near the main highway that runs through the capital.
“Initial observations showed that the body had visible injuries on the head. An inquest file has so far been opened,” police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told AFP.
Trent Keegan, in a self portrait taken in Kenya.
Trent’s last known movements were to meet an Irish aid worker Dave Redmond for dinner in the city. He was last seen returning to his lodgings in a taxi.
“We left the bar together and shook hands at 9.30pm while saying goodbye. He walked to the taxi and I heard him talking to the driver that the fare [to] take him into the city centre was too much,” Redmond told the Associated Press.
“The last thing I remember him saying before he left was he does not feel safe travelling with equipment worth $60,716.”
Keegan’s cameras and laptop were not found with his body, but his wallet and money were not stolen.
“We are treating the case as a homicide,” said police spokesman Eric Kiraithe. “It does not appear to have been a robbery. If it was a robbery, the logical thing is that the robbers would have also taken his money. Let us not speculate.”
“This is a devastating loss for those who knew Trent Keegan, a
photographer who worked to document people in need of a voice around the world,” said Committee for the Protection of Journalists Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes. “The Kenyan police must act decisively to bring whoever killed Keegan to justice. “
Keegan, who was based in Galway, had been working in Kenya since the end of March.
He was the winner of several awards from the Irish Professional
Photographers Association and worked around the world in places such as Darfur, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the slums of Mombassa.
He is survived by his father Mike and his mother Trish, who both reside in New Zealand, as well as his sister Nikki and brother-in-law Scottie, who live in London.
“Trent loved the world. He had a feeling there were people less fortunate than others and he wanted to see if something could be done to right wrongs”, Mike Keegan told the New Zealand Herald.” I don’t know if he was on a one man crusade or not. But he had an affinity with people.”
Prime Minister Helen Clark has called for a thorough investigation into the photographer’s death.
“Our thoughts are with the family and associates of this talented young New Zealander during this difficult time,” she said in a statement.
The moderators and members of EPUK send their condolences to Trent’s family and friends.
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