April 12, 2021

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How we killed Caroline Wanjiku – ex business partners, Police recount last moments

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Caroline Wanjiku Maina, the 38-year-old woman whose body was discovered in a thicket in Kajiado, died from injuries to the forehead and back of the head caused by blunt force.

A post-mortem conducted on her body revealed her killers also used a blunt object to injure her left hip, hand and wrist.

The autopsy was done at the Kenyatta University Mortuary on Wednesday and attended by her family. Dr Charles Muturi performed the autopsy.

Her elder sister Rose Thogori said they were satisfied with the autopsy report.

“She died out of head injuries after being hit on the forehead and the back. She also had bruises on her hip and her eyes were not gouged out as previously thought owing to it being partially decomposed. They were still there,” she said.

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Specimen from the liver and kidney, vagina, stomach and nail clippings were also picked for further testing.

They need toxicology tests to establish if she was also drugged before being killed.

The family said the slain businesswoman, a mother of three, will be buried on Friday at her parents’ home in Kangari, Murang’a county.

Police are preparing to charge four suspects in their custody with the murder. They are Mercy Gitiri Mongo, Edwin Otieno Odiwuor, Samuel Okoth Adinda and Stevenson Oduor Ouma.

The detectives handling the case said they have strong evidence to link the four to the murder.

They believe the motive was a Sh20 million tender that was paid to Wanjiku by a county government in the Eastern region.

Wanjiku was abducted in Nairobi on February 12 and murdered before her body was dumped in a thicket in Kajiado.

Some of the suspects in custody have told police they were partners with Wanjiku in a construction firm that won a tender to construct a sidewalk in the county. They alleged she had been paid the money but failed to share with partners.

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According to statements recorded by the suspects, there were four partners in the company including Wanjiku, another woman and two men.

It is Wanjiku who had apparently secured the tender but she sought the help of the other partners to loan her money for the project. She did not have enough money to deliver. She promised to pay back the cash but reneged.

Under pressure, Wanjiku was informed she could make quick money through a loan from a Sacco.

She told one of her friends she wanted to boost her Sacco shares to enable her to get a threefold loan for her to pay some of the money she owed her partners.

On the day she went missing on February 12, she withdrew Sh350,000 from a bank in Nairobi, before proceeding to meet one of the suspects in Ngara for a business deal.

Ahead of the meeting, Wanjiku called a female friend explaining the suspect was to guide her on how to boost her Sacco shares with the withdrawn amount.

Investigations have shown once at Ngara, Wanjiku was forced into a black Toyota Crown car in which the suspect was waiting. She was sandwiched by the other suspects and handcuffed.

The suspects told police they expected her to come with more money but were disappointed to learn she had only Sh350,000.

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From Ngara, they drove towards Museum Hill, Waiyaki Way, Naivasha Road and stopped in Gatina area, Kawangware. All along, someone else was driving Wanjiku’s Toyota Axio car, which they abandoned in Kawangware.

The group then proceeded to Kajiado where they told police they tortured the woman before killing her.

Their movements were captured on security cameras along the roads they used.

After their arrest, the team handling the case escorted two of the suspects to Kajiado’s Paranai area where they had dumped Wanjiku’s body.

The detectives said a pair of handcuffs, her company stamp stolen from her car and a surgical face mask were recovered.

By the time the body was discovered on February 15, it was starting to rot.

The family had circulated posters with her pictures and details seeking public help to trace her whereabouts.

In the February 13 report at Muthangari Police Station, Wanjiku’s Toyota Axio car was found abandoned in Nairobi’s Kawangware area near Gatina Primary School, a day after she went missing. The body was discovered two days later.

Another Mercedes-Benz car believed to have been used to dump the body has since been recovered at one of the suspect’s home.

A magistrate in Kibera on February 16 allowed police to detain the suspects for 10 days as they complete their investigations into the murder.

-The Star/ Cyrus Ombati

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