A detective collects evidence at house in which a female Machakos University was murdered. [Erastus Mulwa, Standard]

Detectives in Machakos are working to unravel the circumstances under which a female student at Machakos University was murdered insideher alleged boyfriend’s house.

Harriet Moraa had visited her boyfriend, who lived in a single room in a densely populated residential area known as “Diaspora,” just hours after traveling from her rural home in Kisii.

According to Machakos Sub-County Police Commander Nzioka Singi, the primary suspect in the murder, identified as Crispin Omondi, was arrested on Tuesday after presenting himself to the Machakos police station and reporting the incident.

Also on the police radar is one of Crispin’s friends, John Ouma, whom the police believe spent some time with the key suspect on the same night Moraa was murdered.

Yesterday, The Standard made a guided tour to the “Diaspora” residence on the outskirts of Machakos town, barely two kilometres from Katoloni shopping centre off the Machakos-Wote highway.

According to the estate caretaker, Daniel Musela, Moraa and Ouma were budding lovers. “She was a regular visitor here in Diaspora. I have met her at the water point on several occasions,” said Musela.

He said on the day Moraa was murdered, no alarm was made, and neither did a distress call come out of Ouma’s house. “There were two masons carrying out repair works in the house just next to Ouma’s, and throughout their duty time, they did not encounter anything suspicious.

"However, the masons noted Ouma’s numerous trips in and out of the house. At no point did they see Moraa,” he said.

Musela said on the fateful night, one of the night gatekeepers said Ouma had requested to be given the keys to the backyard exit, a request that he declined.

“The reason we stopped opening the back exit is that some tenants (mostly university students) would use it to escape and move to other residences after defaulting on rent,” said Musela.

Police believe Ouma might have conspired to conceal the crime by removing the body from the scene.

Eric Mwavali, a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce student at the university who is also a resident of Diaspora, said he was awakened by police officers who stormed the residence moments after the murder incident was reported.

“We heard a commotion very late at night, and upon waking up, we discovered it was the police who had been led to the estate by Omondi,” said Mwavali.

Mwavali also confirmed that Moraa and Ouma had been lovers for a considerable duration of time as she would regularly come to visit him.

Inside Ouma’s room, which is still under lock and key as forensic investigations advance, a foul smell is evident from the window of the single-roomed house.

There was no bed. A blue mattress measuring four by six feet was spread on the floor with a few utensils scattered all over.

According to the DCI, Moraa checked into Ouma’s house on Monday morning and was never seen leaving the house.

“ The gentleman was seen making numerous trips in and out of the house. We believe in him we have the key suspect. He is the person to tell us what happened,” said Singi.

 

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