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Mystery of woman’s body found in flower bed after Kilimani house party

Sheila Njeri Murage

A house party held in contravention of Covid-19 ban on social gatherings ended in tragedy after one of the participants died, leaving the police with no indication of who could have been responsible.

Sheila Njeri Murage’s body was last Saturday discovered in a flower bed at Santonia Court in the upmarket Kilimani in Nairobi by workers at the property. Blood was oozing from her nose, and she had some back injuries.

She was holding a partially smoked marijuana stick.

ENCLOSED PROPERTY

Santonia Court is an enclosed property with at least six apartments and only one entrance on Kirichwa Gardens Road. It is manned round the clock by G4S guards.

Neighbours do not recall hearing any commotion but acknowledge that there was a party at house number B 03 on the second floor. 

The house belongs to Ms Claire Chepkoech Nge’no and in attendance were Christine Awuor Aluoch and Shem Lwanga Mang’ula.

Njeri also attended the party, but what the three don’t agree about is when she left the party, how she ended up dead in a flower bed and how no one knows what killed her.

This is the basis of what has now become a homicide investigation at the Kilimani Police Division after an post-mortem report on Njeri’s body revealed that she ‘might have been hit on the head. The post-mortem was conducted by Dr Frank Njenga at the City Mortuary and the report released last evening said Njeri had “head injuries due to blunt force trauma.”

INVITED BY A FRIEND

In custody waiting to be taken to court this morning are Mr Mang’ula, Ms Ng’eno and Ms Aluoch.

A friend of Mr Mang’ula who spoke to the Nation said that, on the material day, Mr Mang’ula was drinking at 1824 on Langata Road when he was invited by a friend to Ms Ng’eno’s house. 

“It wasn’t really a party. Only four people were present and Mr Mang’ula blacked out and slept on the couch because he could not go home due to the curfew,” the friend said.

“The next morning he woke up and went home before being summoned by the police. No one has any idea of what happened, including the police,” he said.

CONTRADICTORY VERSIONS

Santonia Court in the upmarket Kilimani, Nairobi where Ms Sheila Njeri Murage’s body was last Saturday discovered in a flower bed

But detectives privy to the investigation say they have reason to believe the three have an idea of how Njeri died, since their versions of the events are contradictory.

The Nation has been told that detectives investigating the case will ask the court to allow them to detain the three longer as they conclude investigations.

While presenting them in court on Monday, the DCI said the three are suspected to have jointly killed Njeri.

“The respondents herein were arrested on July 17, 2020, at Santonia Court within Kilimani area on the suspicion of having committed an offence of murder,” detective John Masi, who is leading the investigation, told the court.

Senior state prosecuting counsel Kennedy Panyako told the court that the suspects gave conflicting accounts of the whereabouts of the deceased before her body was found, raising suspicion that they know what happened to her.

“The respondents’ explanation of events after the party raises questions due to the contradictions and inconsistencies in their statements,” Mr Panyako told the court.

WHO INVITED NJERI?

Among the questions detectives are seeking answers to are how Njeri found herself at the party,  who invited her, when she left — if at all she did— and why all those present say they don’t know how she died.

In addition, police want to know how no one at Santonia Court heard any commotion, and why it took so long to discover that there was a body in a flower bed within the premises. Njeri’s body was discovered at 9am on Saturday.

In their statements to the police, the three suspects all claimed that Njeri left the party at some point. But they gave different accounts of the time she left.

It is also not clear whether Njeri was a tenant at the apartment or whether she was visiting someone who lives there but found herself at the party.

“I always see her around but she does not live here,” one of the residents at the apartments told the Nation.

FREQUENTLY SEEN

It is said that a house on the fifth floor of the apartment where she was frequently seen was not hers.

The Nation learnt that it is owned by a man who rents it out using the AirBnb website, and that Njeri occasionally used it to host visitors. No one knows what she did for a living.

At least 10 people have recorded statements with the police, including the guards who were on duty on Friday night, the property’s caretaker and Ms Ngeno’s neighbours.

DNA samples from the suspects have also been taken and are being analysed, as are their fingerprints and CCTV footage.

The case will be heard this morning at the Milimani Law Courts.

-Nation.co.ke

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