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Malindi: Body of foreigner found dumped on river bank

By Nehemiah Okwembah | February 19th 2019
Renato Bettini Italian

The Italian community in Malindi has revealed the identity of a foreign national whose decomposing body was found dumped at the banks of River Sabaki on Monday.

He has been identified as Renato Bettini, Italian, aged 65 tourist from Milano, a regular visitor to Malindi who arrived six months and was preparing to return to his country.

The corpse was discovered in a hippo infested thicket at Moi village in Malindi Sub County, Kilifi County by fishermen who were on a fishing expedition at 5AM on Sunday.
Bettini, according to the Italian community members who requested anonymity, is said to be a running enthusiast who used to run every morning and every evening along the beaches in Malindi.
“He could jog every morning either along the beach from Kiwi residence to where the Sabaki River meets the ocean or along the Malindi- Lamu road towards the Sabaki Bridge,” said an Italian national residing in Malindi.
The body had deep wounds suspected to have been as a result of having been knifed or having been stumbled upon by the hippos.
Police officers from Malindi and Magarini Sub Counties visited the scene of the crime and picked the body that was ferried to a local mortuary. An autopsy to determine cause of death has not been done.
“We did not establish the identity of the deceased because there was no identification document found on him but investigations are ongoing to establish his origin which we suspect might be Italian,” said an officer at the scene.
Malindi Director of Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO) Anthony Sunguti said that his office had received a name from the Italian community and that he will issue a statement once the family of the deceased identifies him.
“We shall issue a statement the moment the family positively identifies its kin but of now we only have a name suggestion,” he said.
Moi village Safari Kadenge said that the body of the foreigner was found floating on the waters of the massive river meters away from the Indian Ocean.
He added that the body had deep wounds but the cause of death could not be ascertained since the area he was discovered had marks of hippopotamus hooves.
“We can’t state clearly what might have been the cause of death but we have three options whereby we suspect that the body might have been ferried to that location or the tourist was killed by either a hippopotamus or a crocodile,” he said.
He also said that the area has had a series of insecurity issues and that bodies of dead people killed elsewhere had been dumped in the area.
“There is this forest here and criminals take advantage of it to as a dumping site of their criminal activities and we want to call on the security agencies to reinforce security in the area,” he said.
The identity of the deceased was being followed closely by the Kenyan government and various foreign embassies in Kenya.

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