Mr Michael Oyamo, one of the key suspects in the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno, walked to freedom on Tuesday.
But it was very short-lived, according to Homa Bay County Police Commander Marius Tum.
Upon walking out of Homa Bay Police Station, detectives were waiting outside pounced on the former military man and bundled him into a vehicle.
Their plan? To ferry him to the capital Nairobi, where he is expected to be arraigned at the High Court in Milimani.
However, by 3pm, police sources told the Nation that Mr Oyamo was still in Kisumu County, where his boss Okoth Obado was being questioned over the murder.
Mr Tum told the Nation that they released the suspect to comply with orders issued by a magistrate court in Homa Bay.
According to the court order, Mr Oyamo was to be arraigned at the High Court by 9am on Tuesday or be freed.
"I want to make it clear that if the suspect is not brought before the High Court and charges levelled against him by 9am, he is a free man," Homa Bay Senior Resident Magistrate Lester Simiyu said.
Ms Simiyu declined prosecution's request to have Mr Oyamo held for 10 more days and only gave them 24 hours, which were counted from 9am Monday, the time he appeared before the court.
She pointed to the fact that the suspect's rights were trampled on with the continued stay in the police cells.
"You don't have to hold him in custody when you are conducting investigations," the magistrate said.
Mr Oyamo's advocates Neville Amollo, June Ashioya, and Rogers Abisayi reported to court early by 9 am hoping to have their client arraigned but by 1pm neither the suspect nor the prosecution had arrived.
They later left and only told journalists they are going to “have a cup of tea” for 30 minutes.
They were met with jeers from the crowd outside the gate and police had to accompany them to court.
Members of the public camped outside and inside the Homa Bay High Court where suspect was to be brought as they sought to know the fate of the suspect.
Security was tight outside the court as a crowd milled at the main entrance, demanding to enter courtroom.
Hopes of suspect appearing at the Homa Bay High Court continued to diminish as the other lawyers and police left, followed by the family of Mrs Otieno.
They also appeared clueless on whether the case was to be brought to the Homa Bay High Court or any other neighbouring court in Kisii, Kisumu, Nyamira or Kericho.