The mystery surrounding the inexplicable disappearance of Irene Gakwa, 32, who was residing with her lover, Nathan Hightman, in Gillette, Wyoming, in late February 2022, is explored in Paramount+’s “Never Seen Again.” Although Nathan has not yet been accused of being responsible for her disappearance, he continues to be the key suspect in the investigation. We’ve got your back if you’re interested in learning more about Nathan, including his present location. So let’s get started, shall we?
Who Is Nathan Hightman?
Irene Gakwa, a Kenyan native, went to the US in 2019 to seek a profession in healthcare. She met Nathan “Nate” J. Hightman on Craiglist. Without telling her family, she went to Gillette, Wyoming, with him in July 2021. Prior to meeting Nate, her older brothers, Kennedy Wainaina and Chris Munga, both of Idaho, claimed to have seen their sister practically every weekend. Chris allegedly stated, “I feel like Nate is the one who kind of pushed her away from the family.”
Irene’s brothers claimed they had only met Nate a few times and were unaware of the couple’s relationship status. Chris said, “I just didn’t like him from the moment I met him, but I never told her. He just seemed troublesome to me. Additionally, he claimed they had “a rocky relationship,” alleging she had misled them about travelling to Arizona for a warmer environment when, in fact, she was moving in with him. The brothers called a close acquaintance after Irene started acting strangely in late February 2022 and learnt the truth.
Irene’s family learned she had deleted her WhatsApp account on March 8 and her phone number two days later, so they reported her missing to the Gillette Police Department on March 20, 2022. Nate apparently stated he hadn’t seen her since late February when he was visited by a police officer the same day reg arding a connected but unrelated criminal matter. He claimed that on one occasion in late February, she returned home, put her clothes into two plastic bags, and left the house in a dark SUV. However, after he allegedly refused to return her paperwork, her family began to question him.
According to reports, Gillette police engaged in a wild goose chase while looking into Nate’s allegations that Ireme had stolen money to buy plane tickets to Kenya. However, the police disregarded the accusations after a thorough investigation revealed no merit. In April 2022, after witnesses alerted authorities to a grey or silver Subaru Crosstrek with Idaho licence plates, Nate was formally designated as a person of interest. Kennedy falsely claimed that he had burned something in a 55-gallon oil drum while driving a vehicle that was similar to his own.
Where Is Nathan Hightman Now?
On May 10, 2022, at around 3:30 pm, Nate was taken into custody by the police on suspicion of two felonies for theft, one felonious for using a credit card without authorization, and two felonies for crimes against intellectual property. According to police sources, he changed her online bank password after she vanished and then took $3,700, spent $3,230 on her credit card. Nate, however, insisted he did it in order to force her to get in touch with him if she needed financial assistance.
In March 2023, Nate entered a plea of guilty to one felony count each of theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, and offences against intellectual property after first entering a not guilty plea and being freed on a $10,000 bond. He was given a suspended two- to three-year sentence for offences against intellectual property, along with a three- to six-year jail sentence for felony theft and using a credit card without authorization. At his sentencing in June 2023, he was also had to pay $13,200 in penalties, fees, and restitution.
For each of the three convictions, Nate must pay $2,000 in fines, $3,666.46 in restitution for the money that was taken, $3,230.65 for credit card charges, $1,500 in legal fees, and $825 in additional costs. He will be compelled to complete three years of supervised probation after being released. He hasn’t, though, been accused with killing Irene. “We are pleased with the outcome of the current charges,” Kennedy said. We still don’t know what happened to our sister, though. The Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution is housing the 40-year-old, who will be eligible for release in March 2025. In April 2027, his sentence will be completed.
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