Police yet to solve the puzzle of intern doctor's murder

Detectives scramble to piece together the puzzle of Dr. Laban Kiptoo's brutal death. [File, Standard]

Detectives are yet to piece together the puzzle of the brutal murder of an intern doctor at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital.

The late Dr Laban Kiptoo, 26, who was attached to the Margaret Kenyatta Mother-Baby Maternity wing, was reportedly strangled and his body dumped in a trench on Saturday morning.

Six days after his body was discovered, detectives are struggling to trace Kiptoo’s last moments.

Nakuru West Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officer Charles Kamau said they were yet to arrest any suspect in connection with the murder but they have interrogated 10 people.

The 10 are security guards at the hospital, the owner of a nightclub where Kiptoo was seen on Friday night, and his colleagues, among others.

“We went through CCTV footage from a night club where he was seen with colleagues having a drink before he walked away alone in a hurry,” Kamau said.

The Standard interviewed colleagues and friends in a bid to establish the doctor’s last moments.

Kiptoo's friend said they talked on Friday morning and he informed her that he had surgery lined up for the entire Friday.

At around 6 pm, the friend who did not wish to be named said that Kiptoo called her, saying he had finished a surgical procedure, was fatigued and needed to rest.

At 8 pm, Kiptoo texted the friend on WhatsApp and informed her that he wanted to attend a rugby match at Nakuru Athletics Club on Saturday morning.

“The conversation went on until 11 pm before i dozed off. I woke up at around 4:45 am and I responded to his messages which were blue ticked in WhatsApp,” she said.

She said she heard of the doctor's death through another friend.

Doctors who hanged out with Kiptoo at the nightclub suspect that he might have been involved in a scuffle with security guards at the hospital.

The doctors said Kiptoo was drunk when he received a call to return to the hospital to attend to an urgent case.

“He was on duty and had performed some elective C-section surgeries in the theatre on the fateful day where he was on duty the whole day and left the hospital in the evening at around 6 pm,” recalled the colleague.

One of the doctor's said he was in touch with Kiptoo the entire day and even at night when he was recalled to the hospital.

The source claimed that Kiptoo had dinner at a restaurant outside the hospital before he went to the club.

“But at around 10 pm, Kiptoo received a distress call from the hospital to perform an emergency C-section surgery. He left in a hurry and that was the last time I saw him,” said the colleague.

The CCTV footage the police are reviewing has that part of the narration and the DCI officer confirmed the same.

Kamau earlier said they were still carrying out the investigations and will interrogate all angles.

“We will look into every information that we will receive. We have not ruled out anything. The investigation is still open,” he told the Standard yesterday.

A post-mortem examination conducted on Kiptoo's body by Government Pathologist Titus Ngulungu revealed that he died of strangulation and had physical marks of beating and torture before he met his death.

“The doctor died due to lack of oxygen after his neck was pressed and strangled. He also had physical marks on his neck, head, and lower parts of his body suggesting he was beaten and tortured before he met his death,” said Dr Ngulungu.

Meanwhile, Governor Susan Kihika met members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KPMDU) at her office yesterday over Kiptoo’s death.

After a closed-door meeting, Kihika promised to address grievances raised by the doctors, who had on Monday demonstrated demanding justice for Kiptoo.

The governor promised to ensure security of doctors and patients at the hospital.

“It is unfortunate. I can assure you I have addressed all concerns raised by KMPDU officials and the intern officials,” Kihika said.

She also promised to increase the number of doctors’ call rooms from three to eight at the facility to accommodate at least 20 interns.

Kihika said that new CCTV cameras and proper lighting will be installed around the facility to ensure security.

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