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Teacher's murder linked to killing of US-based nurse

 The house where a Nyamira head teacher, Ezekiel Gitangwa (inset), was killed 10 days ago. [Eric Abuga, Standard]

The murder of a Nyamira teacher a week ago could be linked to the killing of a US-based nurse, whose body was dumped at Konate in Nyamira.

On the night of September 14, 2021, the body was dumped at the junction of the Kisii-Chemosit and Nyamira-Kebirigo highways, about 6km from Nyamira town.

Witnesses said the body was dropped by a woman who then drove away in a waiting car from which she had alighted.

The body was later identified as that of Thomas Magwamu, a resident of Gucha sub-county in Kisii County who had travelled from the US.

The nurse had travelled from the US for a month's vacation, and at the time of his death, he was working on a multimillion-shilling investment in Nyamarambe, Kisii.

Detectives had difficulty identifying the body until the Bureau for Registration of Persons in Nairobi verified Magwamu's fingerprints.

According to a DCI source in Nyamira, police had done their homework in trying to solve the murder, but some loose ends emerged, rendering the case inconclusive at the time.

 Ezekiel Gitangwa was allegedly murdered by a female nurse, 33, and her boyfriend, 30. [File, Standard]

A detective familiar with the investigations said clues pointed to the person who dumped the body at Konate moving up to a location near Egesieri Primary School, where a Nyamira head teacher, Ezekiel Gitangwa, 47, was killed 10 days ago.

Gitangwa was allegedly murdered by a female nurse, 33, and her boyfriend, 30, and his body hidden in one of the rooms around December 30.

Before recovering Gitangwa's mutilated body, police had to break into the nurse's house.

The nurse lives near Egesieri Primary School, which is connected to the suspected woman who dumped Magwamo's body on the Konate roadside.

Concerning the possible link between the two murder cases, Nyamira County Criminal Investigations Officer Peter Kiboro said the files of the US nurse's murder were being reopened for a review to determine the possible connection.

"There are similarities that are striking in both cases: the signature killing involving mutilation and corroding the bodies with acid. We are reading deeper into the two crimes," Kiboro said.

Gerald Ondieki, a distant relative of the US-based nurse who was dumped at Konate told The Standard back then, they had believed Magwamu was killed by a Nyamira nurse.

"What the entire village knew about Magwamu's death was that he was killed by a nurse working in Nyamira county," Ondieki said.

 Thomas Magwamu. His body was dumped at Konate in Nyamira. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Besides tracking the two main suspects in the murder of the Nyamira teacher, detectives are also working to establish the link between the crimes.

Kiboro said: "We want to ascertain if the perpetrators of the two murders are the same people because our circumstantial leads have that pointer. Our team is already analysing data in relation to the first incident."

The revelations come at a time when the DCI is hot on the trail of the two main suspects in the murder of Gitangwa, whose body was discovered after being doused with acid.

Gitangwa, 47, went missing on December 30 after leaving his Nyabite home for a church function at Nyamira Central PAG.

According to police, the teacher was invited to the nurse's house via phone call before going missing.

On January 1, the decomposing body was discovered in her house, covered with a carpet.

Detectives have since asked the nurse and her boyfriend to turn themselves in at any police station.

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