Lack of reagents delays DNA test for dead Thika woman

Leah Njeri Njuguna. She died under mysterious circumstances nine months ago. [Courtesy]

The DNA examination of the body of Leah Njeri Njuguna, the Thika grandmother who died under mysterious circumstances nine months ago, has been delayed due to a shortage of crucial reagents at the Government Chemist, The Standard has learnt.

This challenge was relayed to the family last week during a meeting between homicide investigators and immediate family members of Njeri.

Investigators are hoping to collect DNA test samples from the relatives in the coming weeks to confirm whether the bones recovered from the Thika home indeed belong to Njeri.

An official at the Government Chemist who requested not to be named said they had faced challenges conducting DNA tests because many of the reagents were taken to Kilifi County where a months'-long investigation has been going on to identify hundreds of bodies of victims exhumed from Shakahola Forest.

"We hope that more of these reagents will be procured as soon as possible," said the official.

Last week, investigators met some relatives at the DCI headquarters to record statements. Among those questioned were at least eight individuals, including Njeri's two surviving sons.

A granddaughter, Caroline Njeri, who was the first family member to enter Njeri's house on the day she was discovered dead, will also be questioned.

Neighbours and police found the badly decomposed body under a mango tree on June 20 after clearing bushes.