Lead investigator tells court cause of Samuel Wanjiru’s death remains unknown 11 years later

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022 01:52 | By
The late Kenya goldmedalist Samuel Kamau Wanjiru. PHOTO/COURTESY
The late Kenya goldmedalist Samuel Kamau Wanjiru. PHOTO/COURTESY

The circumstances surrounding the death of former Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru remain a puzzle after the lead investigator told an inquest yesterday that police have not established the exact cause of his demise.

Senior Superintendent Jacob Kaberi Kanake said that investigators encountered inconsistencies of how Wanjiru died in May 2011 at his residence in Nyahururu since no one saw him fall from the balcony of his house.

He allegedly jumped to his death. When Milimani Chief Magistrate WendyKagendo sought critical details on the circumstances that led to Wanjiru death, the investigator said he had no information.

”It is difficult to know what befell Wanjiru because he landed on his face but had an injury at the back of his head,” said Kanake.

He also told the court that there are no pictures taken at the scene of the crime of how Wanjiru was found after he allegedly fell.

”When l saw the body at the mortuary and saw the injuries the one at the back disturbed me a lot so I went back to the scene where Wanjiru had fallen to try and find out what had caused the same injury,” said the officer.

He said that at the mortuary Wanjiru was oozing blood from his mouth and nose and at the back of his head. At the hospital, the doctor told himWanjiru was dead.“I asked him to turn the body around.

I checked it for injuries and saw bruises on his hands, legs and back of his head. He did not have any broken limbs,” said Kanake.

Kanake told the court he then left the hospital and went back to the scene for analysis and to establish whether there could have been other people involved in what had transpired.

When he arrived at the scene of the crime, he found two police constables. He observed the scene and found blood on the balcony.

"Wanjiru had at the time been rushed toNyahururu government hospital. He interrogated the persons who were in the compound including Nduta, two police officers and the watchman to know if there is anyone who would have hit Wanjiru on the back but his efforts were futile to cause the same injury to date.”


I studied the scene including the vehicle that came with Triza Njeri Wanjiru and how many men she was in the car when she arrived with an aim of trying to find out if one of them have been dropped and hidden somewhere in the compound who would have killed Wanjiru but I discovered none.

"For the watchman when all this happened he was at the gate when Wanjiru fell there is no indication that he would have hit him on the back. I came up with another option could Wanjiru have landed on his back, turn around and was hit by a blunt object to my conclusion that did not happen. Further, there are no pictures of how he was found fallen,” said the officer.

The court sought to know from the officer what exactly killed Wanjiru as evidence by government doctors and pathologists presented in court shows that Wanjiru was hit with a blunt object leading to his death.

The doctors said the injuries on Wanjiru’s head were inconsistent with a fall thus concluding that he was assaulted before death.

Wanjiru is alleged to have fallen off his balcony on May 11 2011 at his Nyahururu home in unclear circumstances that led to the current inquest. On the issue of consistencies, the officer told the court that Nduta, Triza and former Nyandarua NorthOCPD Josephat Ombati had totally different testimonies about what happened when Wanjiru died.

The court hear that Triza recorded so many statements of what happened at the time Wanjiru and all are inconsistent and appear to be defensive. The officer further told the court that he rescued Nduta who was locked in Wanjiru’s bedroom by Triza after a fight broke out between them.

The court heard that Nduta fought with Triza before the latter locked the bedroom where she and the runner had been sleeping.

”When l arrived at the scene found Nduta at the balcony who was also trying to jump and l pleaded with her not. We broke the padlock of the door of the bedroom using a metal rod,” said Kanake.

He said that after interrogating Nduta as to why she went to a married person’s house, she responded that she was a girlfriend to Wanjiru and was a bar attendant inNyahururu.

”She told me that Wanjiru had called her and informed her the wife was not in and it was okay for her to go to the house,” the officer stated.

The officer told the court that Ndutasaid she was locked in the bedroom by Triza who had walked into the house as the two slept and a fight ensued. He stated that Nduta confirmed to him that she is the woman Wanjiru’s widow, Triza, found in bed with the athlete on the night he allegedly plunged to his death from a balcony.

Kanake also stated that he gathered this information from Triza at Nyahururu police station immediately after Wanjiru allegedly fell from the balcony and died.

Triza’s account according to the officer was that she knew Wanjiru was bringing a woman to the house. And on that day as the fight escalated, Wanjiru remained unfazed. He did not intervene. Triza then left the house and locked the door. When Wanjiru realized he had been locked in, he shouted at Treza from the balcony asking her not to leave.

Treza did not yield to their request. She exited through the main gate. Wanjiru then jumped butTriza did not go back to assist him. The officer said Triza told him it was normal for Wanjiru to be jumping from the balcony. But Kananke told the court he was not convinced with Treza’s account.

He maintained that the head injury was not consistent with the fall. He said they did not get any evidence of how he fell apart from the conclusions drawn by the doctors and pathologists.“Nobody saw him fall. Nduta was inside the house while Treza was running away,” said Kanake.

“So we can rule her (Nduta) out as the person who clobbered him on the head because she was the only person who was there?,” asked the Magistrate.“Also, Is there a possibility that the two ladies could have conspired?”Kananke, the last witness in the case said it would not have been possible because the two ladies were not friends.

At the same time, it also emerged that the mother of the late marathoner was also retrained from attending her son’s funeral on grounds that she was violent and there was a court order. The officer did not say who gave out the directive. 

More on Sports