According to UG Christian News, a Christian couple has been reunited with their son after he was kidnapped on August 9, 2013, at age 14.

Eric Okello Otellu was kidnapped by a group of unknown men close to Kyambogo College in Kampala, Uganda where he was attending at the time.

His father, Patrick Otellu said that during the time without his son, he fell into a depressed state, which came after the loss of his accounting job after the search for his son had grown.

He said “Eric always left home early in the morning and often returned at around 6:00 pm. On that day, we waited for him and he did not come back home,”

After going to the school to find him, they met up with a student who would frequently walk with him to school. The student, Gilbert Mulangira, said that as they were headed to school, a black car issued with a government license plate trailed them before stopping near to them. Some men then came out the car, pulled Eric into it and drove off.

Patrick expressed his disappointment in the police after he was told by a senior police officer that he [the officer] was being put under pressure by Otellu as if that was the only case he was handling.

After his son’s disappearance was announced, Otellu said that they would receive message sand calls by people saying that they had seen Eric, and later requested money. However, after the money was sent, their phones would be switched off and no further contact would be made.

Eric’s Return

On December 19, 2018, Patrick said that he first learned of Eric’s return in a meeting with some friends.

“My wife called me, I decided not to pick her call because I knew she was going to ask me about Eric. She then sent me a message telling me Eric had returned home. I was speechless and moved away. I called the house to confirm whether this was true and when she did, I immediately knelt down and prayed and then went to bed. For the first time in five years, I slept till midday,”

He then traveled to Kampala and immediately went to his son’s room, but was unsure of what to do from then.

“I looked at him, this was not the Eric I knew. He was emaciated and had several scars on his body. I moved closer and asked him what had happened. He looked dejected. He then murmured that he had knocked a stone. I knew he was lying,”

Patrick said that there were several wounds across his chest, along with a fresh one inflicted with something sharp. He added that Eric has been hush about what really happened to him since he returned home, only saying he would return to school if it is a boarding school. Had he not been kidnapped, his mother said he would now be attending University.

Regardless, Eric’s parents are thankful that he returned to them and the five years of worry have come to an end. They also organized a Thanksgiving service for his return.