At least four women are at the centre of investigations as detectives try to establish who among them might have been directly involved in the death of Erick Maigo Onchari, the acting finance director at Nairobi Hospital.
As detectives pursue a possible crime of passion angle, they are also widening their scope to his place of work where he had recently been elevated. Already one woman identified as Cynthia Lusenga Andayo alias Flora Akoth Okonda is in police custody. She was arraigned in court in connection with Maigo’s murder on Tuesday.
Akoth was the third woman to have been in the company of Maigo who was stabbed 25 times in the chest, neck, and face inside his house in Woodley Annex on the night of either September 14 or September 15. He died from internal and external bleeding, according to an autopsy conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor.
There were no signs he tried to defend himself giving an indication he was drunk or had been drugged.
The Nairobian traced Maigo’s last movements and learned that the senior staff at Nairobi Hospital was in the company of at least four women within the Kilimani area, at different times on the night of September 14.
Sh650 to mobile phone
The 37-year-old met the first woman and the two entered his car for a while before the duo parted. He would later link up with the second woman briefly before meeting Lusenga who detectives believe was intimate with Maigo. Lusenga was linked to the murder after investigations showed that the deceased had sent some Sh650 to her mobile phone.
Police are considering letting her off the hook after ascertaining that the mother of three had no direct role in Maigo’s death. The single mother who is divorced and lives in Kawangware does odd jobs within the Kilimani area for a living. When Lusenga was on September 18 presented before Milimani senior principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi, detectives requested to continue holding her to allow for further investigations.
“I find that the application by the state seeking more time to continue holding the suspect has merit. I therefore order her to be detained at Kilimani Police Station for five days pending completion of the ongoing investigations over allegations of murder,” ordered Ochoi.
While mulling over releasing Lusenga, detectives are trailing the fourth woman believed to have been the last person to be seen in the company of Maigo before his body was discovered.
She is a person of interest
Detectives at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters are examining CCTV footage retrieved from an adjacent building at Woodley Annex.
It is suspected the woman whom Maigo met on his way home might have been involved in the murder. Maigo lived alone and it is said he drove together with the woman in his Toyota Surf car. From one of the CCTV cameras, police are trying to find out whether the unknown woman is the same person who left the house moments after Maigo had been stabbed and left to death.
“She is a person of interest to us, and all efforts are being made to arrest her,” said a senior detective.
Neighbours told police they heard Maigo groaning in pain as his guest refused to open the door. After police broke into the house, it was discovered the woman had fled through a window.
A relative of Maigo, who also works at Nairobi Hospital, declined to talk about the incident saying: “You know I am handling so many issues at the moment, maybe we talk later,” said the man. Maigo hails from Amasago, Keumbu in Kisii County. Given his meteoric rise at the workplace, investigators are seeking to find out whether he had made enemies as a result of his promotion to the position of acting finance director.
However, it is the crime of passion that the officers are more keen on based on the man’s last movements and circumstances surrounding the gruesome death.
On the night of September 14, Maigo had moved from one club to another along Ngong Road where he met the four women separately. He picked up the fourth woman and drove with her to his house arriving at around 10 pm.
“We suspect they bitterly differed on arriving home,” said a detective.
Kilimani Sub County Criminal Investigations Officer (SCCIO) Abdirashid Yakub was not readily available for comment.
If the murder turns out to be a crime of passion, then it happened around the same time when similar killings were reported in Shauri Moyo, Kangemi, Eldoret, and Busia.
On September 17, Mike Gakima, 23, was stabbed and seriously injured by his girlfriend Ida Ndunge in Shauri Moyo. The victim was taken to a nearby health facility before being transferred to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in serious condition.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old suspect was arrested by members of the public who took her to Shauri Moyo Police Station.
On the same morning in Kangemi, Trizah Chemtai stabbed to death her boyfriend identified as Alvin Khaemba. The two, who had been living together for three weeks, quarreled before Chemtai picked a knife and killed the 19-year-old man. Chemtai accused Khaemba of infidelity.
In Eldoret’s Naiberi area, 31-year-old Geoffrey Kiplagat Chirchir killed his former girlfriend Naomi Jepkemoi, aged 30, by stabbing her several times in the chest using a kitchen knife.
On the same day in Busia, Caren Auma, aged 23, was murdered by her husband Stephen Oduori at their home in the Igigo village of Bunyala. It was said Oduori attacked his wife accusing the mother of two of overstaying in Uganda where she had visited her relatives. Police and experts have often linked the frequent cases of crimes of passion to either infidelity or love triangles.
Linus Otieno, a psychologist says apart from infidelity another key factor fueling these crimes is stress related to financial strains and economic crimes.
“You will be surprised that many people tend to associate the crimes with mental illness, but this is hardly the case among those in intimate relationships,” said the psychologist based at Chiromo Hospital Group.