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Dead NZ lensman onto a big story

Published: 6:24AM Friday May 30, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

The father of a New Zealand photojournalist killed in Kenya says his son was a gentle giant who always wanted to help those in need.

A statement from Nairobi police says the battered body of 33-year-old Trent Keegan was found in a ditch near the main highway running through Kenya's capital Nairobi.

"He was doing what he wanted to do. My daughter just said that we've got to take comfort from that because that's what he was doing," says Mike Keegan, Trent's father.

The accomplished freelance photographer was based in Ireland, but his passion saw him shooting stills around the world, most recently New Orleans, Tanzania and just last week, Kenya.

His father says that Trent wanted to make a difference through his photojournalism.

When Mike spoke to Trent late last week, he said he was onto a story with international significance.

"He told me that he saw someone shoot a pregnant lady in front of him and he wanted to reveal all," Mike recalls.

Mike accepts that mugging is a possibility in Trent's death. But he says Trent's friends suspect something untoward may have gone on.

Nairobi police say a document found on the body indicates the dead man was Trent Keegan. The body had head injuries.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of Trent's death. A spokeswoman says it is still working through official channels to confirm the death.

Irish Independent reporter Jason O'Brien says some reports claim Keegan was found on Tuesday and others say as early as Sunday.
 
He says Kenyan police have been very reticent to give out information, because they wrongly stated he was an Irish national when they first found him.

O'Brien says Keegan was a freelancer who had won several awards.

He says the photographer was quite well known amongst his colleagues, because he was over six foot tall so he stood out in a media scrum.

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