Suspect in Juja killing tried to commit suicide
Nyaboga Kiage and Frankline Wallah
The main suspect in the killing of a woman whose mutilated body was found dumped inside a car in Weteithie, Kiambu county, will be arraigned today.
This as it emerged the suspect, who reportedly killed her lover on suspicion she was seeing another man, attempted to commit suicide after the heinous act.
Police officers are today expected to file an application seeking to hold Evans Karani, 39, the main suspect in the murder of Catherine Nyokabi Gitonga, 23, for more days to allow them complete investigations.
Detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) pursuing the case have been left with more questions than answers as family wondered why Karani ended Nyokabi’s life in such a cruel manner.
Police had, on April 15, arrested two people in connection with the ownership of the car after verifying its ownership details from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Registrar of Motor Vehicles but they were later released when they proved they had sold the vehicle.
Yesterday evening, detectives were still trying to establish what kind of chemical had been poured on Nyokabi’s body which produced a very strong bleach odour when police picked her body from the scene.
Yesterday, Juja DCI boss Richard Mwaura told People Daily Nyokabi’s body was badly mutilated when officers picked it up.
“She had cuts all over her body but the most affected were her face and head. The breasts are still missing, plus her toe nails.
So badly was the body mutilated that when police tried to carry it into a waiting vehicle, some flesh fell off,” he said, adding that her ribs and backbone were also broken.
Mwaura also revealed that officers found several items in the car which had been abandoned near a thicket right behind Mang’u High School on Thika Road.
According to him, detectives believe two knives found inside the car could be the murder weapons used to end the life of the woman who has been described as hard-working by relatives and friends.
“Apart from the knives, we also found two mobile phones which had been switched off, several bottles of alcohol and a cap that was also cut into several pieces.
The cap is believed to belong to one of the deceased’s male friends,” said Mwaura.
The items that were found at the scene of crime which have now been kept as exhibits played a key role in the arrest of the suspect from his hide-out in Githurai-Kimbo, about 30km from Githurai bus terminus.
On April 15 night, officers traced him down to his house in Kimbo using a phone signal where he confessed to have killed the woman because she was planning to ditch him for another man.
According to Juja police boss Dorothy Migarusha, the suspect then directed the police to the scene of crime from where he implored on the officers to shoot him dead so that he could join Nyokabi wherever she was.
He confessed that he had killed Nyokabi from the scene where the car had been found stuck in the mud.
In his statement, the suspect reportedly informed the officers he had intended to end the life of Nyokabi from a thicket ahead of them but decided to do it from the scene after the car got stuck in the mud.
“He tied her hands with a rope, pushed her out of the car and went ahead to kill her,” Migarusha said.
According to Migarusha, when the vehicle was towed to the police station, detectives further found packets of condom, a handbag believed to be Nyokabi’s, food and two pairs of shoes.
Karani reportedly told police he spent the night next to the vehicle as he attempted to end his life by hanging on a tree in vain.
The following morning residents who had spotted him, not aware he had been involved in the killing of Nyokabi, chased him away.
It was then that he jumped onto the rear of a lorry ferrying sand to escape from the scene.
Still determined to end his life, Karani consumed rat position and at some stage attempted to throw himself into Kiahuria river before he eventually decided to go back home from where he was arrested.
Close friends, neighbours and Nyokabi’s family members told People Daily the two met in 2019 via Facebook.
This is after Karani left his home, leaving his wife and three children behind.
He had never gone back to his family since then, though he continued sending them money for upkeep regularly.
Nyokabi had arrived in Nairobi in 2016 after dropping out of school while in Form Two and engaged in several menial jobs.
After several months, Nyokabi went ahead and introduced the man to her parents in Nyeri. However, they temporarily parted ways in early January.