NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – Two students were on Tuesday charged with the murder of United States International University (USIU) student Sarah Akelo Aruwa who was kidnapped and her body was later found in Githunguri ten days ago.
Duncan Livingstone and Winnie Wairimu Kariuki denied murdering the girl at Kwamaiko Centre in Githunguri. They appeared before High Court judge Nicholas Ombija who remanded them at Kasarani Police Station to allow police carry out further investigations.
Their case is due in court on July 17 for further directions. Livingstone is a student at USIU while Wairimu studies at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.
Aruwa was kidnapped about 10 days ago outside the USIU compound and moments later her captors called her mother demanding a ransom of Sh100,000.
According to a postmortem report Aruwa’s body was found in a coffee plantation soon after a kidnap ordeal and was strangled to death.
The autopsy was conducted Monday at the City Mortuary before the woman’s remains were moved to the Lee Funeral Home.
The city morgue register shows the body was taken there by the police on July 1 after it was discovered in a coffee plantation within Kiambu County.
Family members and police officers who saw the body of the fourth-year student said it had decomposed and could hardly be recognised, save for her clothes and other bodily features.
She was pursuing a degree in International Relations at the university until people believed to be her fellow students and close friends kidnapped her, and started demanding ransom from her parents using her own mobile phone.
But strangely, they gave an ultimatum and soon switched off the woman’s mobile phone, making it difficult to continue the negotiations.
Police in pursuit of the kidnappers arrested some of Sarah’s friends who declined to reveal her whereabouts until they were arraigned in court.
A police investigation has since shown that she was kidnapped from Roysambu on June 30 and must have been killed the following day on July 1 because that is when the body was discovered.
“They sent a text message on phone demanding us to send them money within a minute, but I feel by that time Sarah had already been killed. I feel those people just wanted to kill her, because so many people have been kidnapped even for one month and they survive, and for Sarah she was dead in less than 24 hours,” her mother Hellen Aruwa said.
Flying Squad chief Munga Nyale has said they are investigating an alleged kidnapping ring at the private university after an upsurge of similar abductions.
Last week, one USIU student and his girlfriend who studies at the Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology were arraigned before the Makadara Law Courts and charged with a similar incident of abduction.
They denied the charges and were remanded in custody until Wednesday next week.