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Edwin Chiloba was smothered to death, pathologist tables report in court

Rift Valley
 Ezra Chiloba's Murder suspect Jacktone Odhiambo at the Eldoret High Court on August 2, 2023. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Edwin Chiloba, the slain fashion model was smothered to death, chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor has said as he tabled a postmortem report in court.

Three socks stuffed deep in the throat and a pair of jeans tightly tied on the mouth and nose, this was the state in which Dr Johansen Oduor found the body of Edwin Kiptoo alias Chiloba, when conducting an autopsy last year.

Giving his evidence before Justice Reuben Nyakundi of the High Court in Eldoret, Dr Oduor said Chiloba died of asphyxia - lack of oxygen due to smothering- blockage of the mouth and nose. Jackton Odhiambo alias Lizer is the prime suspect in the murder. The pathologist tabled the postmortem report as an exhibit in the case and told the court that the 26-year-old University of Eldoret student was brutally murdered.

At the time of the postmortem on January 11, 2023, Dr Oduor said, Chiloba’s body was decomposing and foul-smelling. His kidneys and the brain were decomposing and the head was swollen. “The deceased had three socks stuffed deep in his mouth and one leg of a jeans trouser was tightly tied around his mouth and nose. He suffered bruises on the inside of his upper and lower lips and on the left side of his tongue. There was evidence of cyanosis, caused when one lacks enough oxygen in the blood,” Oduor told the court.

He noted that all injuries the deceased suffered, occurred before death. Dr Oduor pointed out that Chiloba did not have any defence injuries. “The deceased suffered antemortem injuries. This only means the person who shoved the three socks deep inside his mouth and then covered his mouth and nose tightly intended for the student to die,” Mark Mugun, the lead prosecution counsel told the court.

Oduor told the court that some samples from the deceased were taken for further tests and analysis at the government laboratory to match with samples taken from the accused.

Corporal Mercy Kathure, the Investigating Officer, recounted receiving information about a metallic box dumped on the road on the morning of January 3, 2023. At the time, the DCI officer was stationed in Eldoret South. She said she headed to the scene with her colleagues to inspect the box since eyewitnesses who had called the police had reported that a speeding car had dumped the box along Kipkenyo-Kaptinga road in Kapseret.

On opening the huge box, they found the deceased’s decomposing body which was ferried to the Moi Teaching and Referral (MTRH) Eldoret mortuary and booked as unknown.

She said she later learned through social media that the body belonged to fashionista Edwin Kiprotich Kiptoo alias Chiloba. “There was a video circulating showing the deceased, he had the same clothes he was wearing when we found his body in the box. We got witnesses who reported to us at Langas police station where we recorded their statements and began our investigations and handed over the case to the homicide unit,” she stated.

The police arrested Odhiambo who was the person of interest as he was last seen with the deceased at a popular club in Eldoret and was cohabiting with Chiloba.

Odhiambo denied killing the fashionista who is said to have been his lover in an incident that occurred between December 31, 2022, and January 3, 2023, at Noble Breeze Apartments in Chebisaas area within Moiben sub-county, Uasin Gishu County.

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