NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Police in Nairobi on Wednesday detained a man after he finally confessed to having raped and murdered a university student in a city suburb.
The body of the 21-year-old girl identified by family and police as Edna Mogambi was found hidden under her bed.
She was a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Karen campus where she studied was pursuing a Bachelors degree in Purchasing and Supplies.
The man detained by police is a neighbour to the girl and was not initially suspected in the murder until Wednesday when he accompanied the girl’s relatives to the Industrial Police station where he was detained.
“We have been monitoring his movements since Monday. When he realised no one was suspicious, he decided to get close to the family and has even accompanied them to the station today (Wednesday), that is when we detained him,” Makadara police chief Thomas Atuti said. “He is well known to his friends as Daddy.”
After confessing at the police station, detectives took him to a magistrate at the Makadara Law Courts where he repeated his confession.
Confessions made at police stations or anywhere else are not admissible in court and that is why he had to be taken before a magistrate.
“It is a breakthrough because we were holding five innocent people, including two of the girl’s boyfriends. We now have the man who murdered this student,” area divisional CID Chief Zack Nangulo said.
Edna was killed on Sunday evening but her body was discovered by her sister Nancy whom they stayed with the following day. Her sister was away visiting a relative in Rongai when the incident occurred.
Police said the man in custody had also confessed that after raping and murdering Edna, he used her mobile phone to send a text message to her sister Nancy, in an attempt to cover up his involvement.
“I am being attacked by Ken who wants to rape me, please assist me,” read the text message sent to Nancy at about 6pm.
When Nancy tried to call her sister back, the phone was off.
“I wondered why her phone could go off immediately after sending me a text, so I just thought she was joking. But then the only person who came to my mind is Daddy because he is our neighbour so I also tried to call him to tell him to go check what was happening but his phone was off too,” Nancy said.
She then replied to the text message telling Edna to send her the number of the “attacker” she had identified as Ken so that she could speak to him.
When no reply was forthcoming, she went on with her business until 9 pm when she went back home and found the house open.
“I went to a house downstairs where she usually frequents and asked the men there where my sister was and they told me she was not there. I kept calling her phone but it was off and I thought maybe she has gone somewhere and would come back, so I revised for my examination and slept,” Nancy who is a student at the Kenyatta University said.
Unaware that her sister’s lifeless body was lying under the same bed, Nancy spent the night and went to school the following day and returned home at 9 pm.
“My anxiety grew even more when I failed to find her at home again so something just told me to look around in the house, and when I leaned to look under the bed, I touched something like a person, and then I saw her hand and that is when I started screaming and rushed out,” she narrated, breaking into tears.
Coincidentally, the first person who responded to her screams downstairs is now the confessed killer.
“I met Daddy and I told him to go confirm if indeed it is my sister under the bed, because now I was totally confused and he came back and held me, saying ‘pole nime confirm amekufa’ (sorry, I have confirmed she is dead),” she said, quoting the man who is now being detained by police.
The body with blood stains was covered in a bed sheet.
Her father Zablon Mogambi said he was called by Nancy who was crying saying “Edna ameuawa ako chini ya kitanda (Edna has been killed, she under the bed).”
“I am still shocked that someone can just kill my daughter like that. What did she do to deserve to die this way?” Mogambi wondered, and urged police to expedite the investigation.
“We will arraign him in court tomorrow (Thursday) to face murder,” Nangulo said.
He said the man had also confessed to switching off the dead girl’s mobile phone after sending a text message to her sister, before he threw it away. He helped police retrieve the mobile phone on Wednesday.
Nangulo said they would also take DNA samples from the suspect to match them with samples taken from the deceased girl’s finger nails and traces on her lingerie and body.
“Such evidence will be required in court, and that is why we want to form a watertight case. We had also taken DNA samples from the five other suspects who have been released,” he said.