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Sharon burial set for today as governor remains in cell

By James Omoro | October 19th 2018

Pall bearers carry a coffin with the remains of the late Sharon Otieno from Kirindo mortuary on October 18,2018 to Magare village in Homabay county. Sharon Otieno who was murdered last month together with her seven month old foetus will be laid to rest tomorrow. [Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

Slain university student Sharon Otieno will be buried today as key suspects in her murder spent the fourth week in remand.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his two personal assistants are the main suspects in Sharon’s murder.

The 26-year-old was strangled and stabbed eight times. She was seven months pregnant the time she was abducted and killed.

Last evening, her mother Melida Auma fainted when the body arrived at the home of her grandfather, Samuel Odege, from MED 25 mortuary in Homa Bay Town ahead of today’s ceremony.

Several arrests

Auma was taken to her home, about 70 metres away, for first aid.

Residents thronged the compound to mourn Sharon, whose killing has hit headlines.

The police have made several arrests as the State fights to have the suspects detained.

Sharon’s lifeless body was found near Kodera forest in Homa Bay on September 4, a day after she was abducted alongside Nation Media Group journalist Barrack Oduor.

The journalist told the police that he escaped by jumping out of a moving vehicle, which had been used to abduct them.

Mr Obado, said to have had an affair with the student is expected back in court next week for a ruling on his application for bail.

Having been married woman, Sharon should have been buried in the home of her husband Bernard Owuor Okuta in Migori County, according to Luo culture.

However, her family yesterday confirmed Sharon will be buried in his paternal grandfather’s compound at Magare village.

Burial committee chairman Elijah Opiyo, who is also a brother to her grandfather, said they decided to bury Sharon in Odege’s home after her husband allegedly declined to claim her body for burial 44 days after she died.

They also argued their marriage was not official as her husband had never paid bride price.

“We have decided to bury Sharon here because the so-called husband has never spoken to us when she was alive and even after she died. We, therefore, treat her as a daughter who had not been married,” said Opiyo.

Baby’s grave

Her unborn baby was also buried in her grandfather’s compound. Sharon will be buried next to her baby.

“A grandfather, aunt or sister are the only people allowed to bury a daughter who dies before marriage,” said Opiyo.

He added: “We stopped waiting for her so-called husband to reach out to us. There are young men who have started digging the grave. The grave will be ready this evening.”

ODM leader Raila Odinga is among dignitaries expected to attend the burial.

DNA results linked Mr Obado to the child Sharon was carrying but the governor’s lawyer, Cliff Ombeta, said this does not implicate the county boss in the murder and demanded that he be released on bail.

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