Athletics Athletics

‘Strange woman’ present when Wanjiru died


WANJIRU-MEMORIALNAIROBI, Kenya, February 13- The first responder to the distress call made by the late Olympics champion marathoner Samuel Wanjiru’s widow told an inquest on Friday that he found a ‘strange woman’ at the home of the fallen distance running icon on the night of his death.

James Mara told a Nairobi court listening to the probe that upon arriving at Nyahururu’s Muthaiga Estate palatial home of the two-time Chicago and London marathon winner after receiving a distress call from his wife Trizah Njeri, “I saw a woman at the balcony from which Wanjiru had fallen from.”

Mara further testified to Nairobi Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndungu; “I had never seen her before in Nyahururu or anywhere else.”

He described to the inquest he found Wanjiru lying on his back and bleeding from his mouth and at the back of his head.

According to Mara, there was no one else in the compound other than the strange woman he saw, his two friends and watchman.

Mara who was employed by the marathon star as a driver of one of his trucks said Wanjiru’s wife was not in the compound and had called him from his house which is about 300 meters.

He testified that he was with Wanjiru at Waterforce Bar in Nyahururu where they had drinks with two others for about half an hour.

The inquest further heard that the medallist left the bar drunk and a scuffle ensued between him and the management who ordered the gate to be shut after he failed to pay a Sh700 ($7.6) bill.

It was Mara’s further testimony that Wanjiru drove through the gate and broke it as he took off forcefully in his Toyota Land Cruiser SUV.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic marathon champion died on May 15, 2011 at his home from what police said was suicide from a fall from his balcony, a theory disputed earlier this week by former Chief Government Pathologist, Dr. Moses Njue who claimed he was killed by a heavy blow to his head with a blunt object after sustaining minor injuries from the 14-foot fall.