Husband of woman whose body was dumped in Ruiru speaks

Grief-stricken Joseph Ngige, husband to murdered Ruiru woman Esther Wambui, at Ruiru Police Station. January 20, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The recovery of a woman's body stashed and dumped in a briefcase around the fence of a Recce Squad camp in Kimbo left many in shock.

On Tuesday evening the body was identified as that of Esther Wambui, who worked at a hotel along the bypass.

The husband, Joseph Ngige had reported a case of a missing person to police, only to turn out that the body recovered was his wife Wambui.

When The Standard caught up with the husband at Ruiru Police Station, he was still in shock and disbelief.

As he recounted the last moments with Wambui, Ngige could not hold back his pain, frequently breaking down. 

 "On that fateful morning, we woke up around 5am as usual and I escorted her from the estate towards her workplace, a hotel near the Ruiru bypass," he recalled.

He said: "I usually do that because of safety to see her off. She is needed at her workplace at around 6am, so I made sure she was in a safe distance, then went back home," he said.

Ngige, who works in a mattress company in Ruiru, said he usually goes back to pick Wangui up in the evening since his place of work is not far from the Hilton Estate where they lived.

 "That day (Monday), I arrived outside her workplace around 7pm, I waited for her to close for the day but she took long until 8:20pm," Ngige explained.

 "She never had a phone, at some point I called one of her friends in the hotel asking for her whereabouts only to be told she did not report to work that day", he continued.

Ngige said he was forced to check into the hotel in order to confirm his wife's absence.

 "That evening, we started the search until 11pm when we went back to sleep. She never owned a mobile phone and had been communicating using one belonging to a colleague," narrated Ngige.

Ngige added: "On Tuesday, I woke up very early just to see if I might spot her reporting to work but she didn't show up. That's when I decided to report the matter to the police."

Ngige narrated he returned home optimistic that his wife would come back, but heard some shocking news in a vernacular radio station about a body that had been recovered in Juja.

 "I went to Juja station where an officer directed me to City Mortuary where the body was taken, that Tuesday evening I confirmed that Wangui was no more," Ngige said.

The deceased's father Samuel Mbugua, said Wambui was the second born in the family. He said he was informed about the death on Tuesday night by Ngige.

Mbugua, who hails from Nakuru said he had known that Wambui was engaged to Ngige whose family also reside in Nakuru.

 "It is painful to lose a child. I used to hear such cases happening to other people but I never imagined it will happen to my daughter," he said.

Mbugua added: "Even though she dropped out of school in Form Two about a year ago, she was a good girl. I have recorded a statement and requested the police to complete their probe so that I can proceed with burial plans."

Ruiru Head of Investigations Justo Ombati said: "At the moment people are saying a lot and I don't want to preempt anything. The deceased's family have also come to share their story."

Wambui's body, according to investigators, had no injuries and her legs and arms appeared tied from behind.

Ngige recorded a statement at Ruiru Police Station on Wednesday evening, even though detectives said he was just a Person of Interest.

How Esther Wambui’s body was found

On Monday, Wambui’s body was found stashed in a suitcase and dumped near the GSU Recce barracks in Kimbo, Kiambu County.

Juja police commander Dorothy Miragusha said preliminary investigations suggested the woman was strangled.

“The body was wrapped in a nylon sack and stashed in a black suitcase. Her hands were tied at the back while her legs were bound together using a manila rope. A nylon string was tied around her neck,” read a police report filed at the Mugutha Police Station.

“She had a deep cut injury on her left breast,” says the report. The public became curious when the suitcase remained on the road unclaimed for two hours.

Miragusha said a message that takes the form of a revenge note was written on the woman’s breasts, thighs and palms.

“The message said: ‘Bwana ya mtu sumu (dating someone’s husband is akin to taking poison)," said Miragusha.

The message had been written using a blue marker pen.