The abducted Italian volunteer Sylvia Romano is not in Tana River County, some elders have said.
The elders from the Wardei community told the Nation the last time the Italian was spotted in the county was in December.
They said they told the police about the incident but they responded late.
"She was last spotted in Bura. We gave the police that information but by the time they got there, the lady had been whisked away," said an elder who sought anonymity.
The elders said they have been co-operating with the police but they are still suffering their wrath.
"She was among us before, and we thought she was just a normal guest doing research about our culture. This is what we were told when we hosted her," said another elder.
Some elders are "sure" Ms Romano has been taken to Somalia by her abductors, urging the police to focus their attention outside the county.
However, others believe the Italian is still within the county, but urged the security team to change tack for a successful operation.
Mr Bole Godana from Tana Delta said residents are willing to help trace the Italian but police officers should stop mistreating them.
"If you want a dog to take care of you, feed it ... if you want to milk a cow, give it grass; starving it and treating it harshly will not yield the desired results."