Police in a spot as family seeks justice for slain MKU student


Faith, a 19-year-old, first-year student at Mount Kenya University was found murdered in her rented room on Pilot Estate, Hospital Ward in Thika. [Gitau Wanyoike, Standard]

A Machakos family has accused Thika police of failing to rescue their daughter from kidnappers who ended up killing her.

The family of Faith Musembi from Kisikini in Machakos said their daughter would be still alive had the police acted swiftly when the father made a distress call.

Faith, a 19-year-old, first-year student at Mount Kenya University (MKU), was found murdered in her rented room on Pilot Estate, Hospital Ward in Thika.

Her lifeless body was discovered by her father when he broke into the house after police dismissed his pleas several times.

Boniface Musembi, the father to the deceased said they had on Wednesday received a call from an unknown person who used her daughter’s phone and demanded Sh20,000.

According to Mr Musembi, the caller demanded that the family cooperate failure to which Faith would be killed with her unborn child.

Faith is said to have been eight months pregnant.

Mr Musembi said his wife then tried to engage the kidnapper who unfortunately maintained that Faith would be killed if the money was not sent.

“Her mother in response to the kidnapper through a text message said, ‘I command and speak protection upon my daughter in the mighty name of Jesus’, but the kidnapper replied saying, ‘Amen, fail to send the money and your command will be mere words,” said Mr Musembi.

Meanwhile, Mr Musembi said as he rushed to Thika Police station seeking urgent intervention, his wife in a desperate move sent the Sh20,000 as demanded hoping that her daughter would be released.

The police, however, brushed off Mr Musembi’s plea saying it would be a hoax orchestrated by the deceased, her acquaintances, or her romantic partner.

“On Thursday morning I went to the house where my daughter was residing but found her house locked with a padlock, I called out her name several times but there was no response,” said Mr Musembi.

On asking about his daughter’s whereabouts, a vegetable vendor next to their house indicated that she had sold Ms Faith vegetables the day before.

Undeterred by the dismissive attitude at the Thika DCI office, Mr Musembi opted to revisit the authorities hoping that the officers would change minds and assist.

However, once again, his pleas fell on deaf ears as officers dismissed him on grounds that the incident could be among the many they have handled where university students kidnap themselves and extort money from their families.

It is from here that Mr Musembi took matters into his own hands and broke into the house only to find his daughter's lifeless body on the floor.

“I blame Thika police officers of laxity, should they have acted swiftly, they’d have saved my daughter from her killers. Her phone which her suspected killers were using has not been switched off until now,” said an angry Musembi.

Joseph Kinaka, the deceased uncle said he had texted the girl’s phone on WhatsApp on Thursday morning and received a response demanding another ransom of Sh33,000.

“After engaging the individual, he sent me a photo of Faith, but after keenly looking at it, blood was oozing from her nose a clear indication that things were not okay,” Kinaka explained.

An autopsy conducted at Thika General Kago Funeral Home, where the body is lying indicated that Faith succumbed to excessive bleeding.

The report indicated that she had bleeding in the uterus caused by abruptial placenta (the placenta had detached itself leading to excessive bleeding).

Thika Sub-County Police Commander Lawrence Muchangi said a dedicated team of detectives has been swiftly deployed to Nairobi to hunt for the perpetrator of the crime.

Muchangi said the signal to her phone had been traced in Mathare area and the police are hopeful that the suspect will be arrested.,

In response to allegations of sluggishness in police response, Muchangi refuted such claims, asserting that law enforcement promptly acted on every lead provided by the father.

Furthermore, he underscored the urgency of the situation, stating that they have expedited the postmortem examination scheduled for today. This he said was to help in unraveling the circumstances surrounding the untimely demise, given that the body, upon retrieval, exhibited no signs of life.

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