Sharon 'in mysterious trip to Tanzania' before her murder

The late Sharon Otieno's mother Melida Auma follows court proceedings in a Homabay court when the suspect linked to the murder of her daughter Michael Oyamo was arraigned in court. [Photo: DenishOchieng/ Standard])


Sharon Otieno fled to Tanzania to escape her tormentors, who allegedly wanted her to abort the child she was carrying, her family has claimed.

Sharon returned a week before she fell into the hands of her killers, who stabbed her eight times before dumping her body in a thicket.

Sharon's mother, Melida Auma, yesterday claimed that her daughter, who was seven months pregnant, went to hide in Mwanza, allegedly because her life was in danger.

The revelation appeared to confirm claims by police that plans to kill Sharon may have been hatched months before the killers struck earlier this month.

It has been alleged that the plan to eliminate her had aborted on at least two occasions.

In an interview with The Standard yesterday, Ms Auma said her worried daughter left hurriedly for Mwanza in early August and stayed away for about a week.

“Sharon woke up one morning and told me she wanted to go to Tanzania because she was no longer safe in Kenya. She didn't tell me who was threatening her life," Ms Auma said.

She added: "She travelled to Mwanza by road. While there, she switched off her phones to prevent anyone from reaching her."

Auma said when Sharon returned home, she told her some people were pressuring her to abort the baby.

Her return

A few weeks after her return, she was abducted together with Nation Media Group journalist Barrack Oduor, who had accompanied her to meet Migori Governor Okoth Obado's personal assistant, Michael Oyamo.

Mr Obado, who has been questioned by police, has owned up to having a relationship with the Rongo University student. He has, however, denied any involvement in her murder, saying their friendship and her pregnancy were well known to his family and friends.

Three of Mr Obado's aides - personal assistants Oyamo and Caspal Obiero and bodyguard Elvis Omondi - are in police custody over Sharon's murder.

Also being held are a former Kanyadoto MCA in Homa Bay, Lawrence Mula, and the driver of a Toyota Fielder suspected to have been used during Sharon's abduction, Jack Gombe.

The vehicle was yesterday dusted for fingerprints and driven to Nairobi to help in the investigations.

"We believe the car - a Toyota Fielder - holds crucial clues into the murder. We have delivered it to Nairobi," said a source.

Police have hinted at possible high-profile arrests in the next 48 hours.

An officer privy to the investigations said detectives were preparing to arrest more suspects, who could include the actual killers and their allies, as suspects in custody had confessed.

"Prepare to see more arrests between today (Friday) and Monday. The investigations are reaching a climax," said an officer who requested not to be named.

Yesterday, The Standard established that the investigations had been narrowed down to the motive for killing the university student and her unborn baby, the mastermind and the actual killers.

"With the DNA reports having confirmed that Obado is the father of the child, there is now a need to establish who may have wanted to kill the mother and her unborn baby and why," said a detective.

Yesterday, a source privy to the investigations said Sharon's murder had been planned for Nairobi much earlier, but the plot failed when a man known to the mastermind bumped into them (Sharon and Oduor) at a Nairobi hotel.

It is believed the killers either wanted to eliminate the reporter as well or use him as a decoy.