MURDER PROBE

Confusion as suspect claims murdered priest was his lover

The detectives have also gone out of their way to ascertain the behaviour of the cleric from villagers.

In Summary

•In one of the conversations dated October 6, the two referred to each other in romantic terms of “Hi dear” and “hi my love”.

•Police have been conducting forensics on the cellphone of a senior Catholic church leader in Embu to ascertain his whereabouts on the nights of October 8 and 9, when Kyengo is believed to have been killed

The slain Father Michael Kyengo
The slain Father Michael Kyengo
Image: Courtesy

 Detectives from the DCI investigating Father Michael Kyengo’s murder are following new leads that link his killing to relationship and money.

A sleuth privy to the investigations into the Catholic priest’s murder, however, confided to the Star that the probe was becoming more complicated following the latest developments.

The investigations took the dramatic twist on Friday after the main suspect into the murder said he had been in a romantic relationship with the deceased.

 

According to the detective, the 25-year-old Michael Muthini claimed that he was in an intimate relationship with the priest.

The investigators have since gone back to the drawing board following the fresh claims by the trained nursery school teacher.

A postmortem on the priest’s body conducted at Montezuma Monalisa Funeral Home in Machakos on Thursday confirmed that he died of stab wounds.

The 40-year-old priest disappeared from his parent’s Tala home in Matungulu, Machakos County on October 5 and his body recovered on October 16 from a shallow grave in a riverbed at Mbeere South, Embu County.

Police sources said that the new development had left the detectives scratching their heads, contemplating on whether to conduct a second autopsy to confirm claims of the romantic relationship.

 “Just like in cases where claims of sexual nature are made, we are considering a second round of examination on his body to confirm if there was any intercourse,” the source said.

 

Forensic examination of the suspect’s mobile phone has further reinforced his claims after the police discovered romantic text messages alleged to be between the preacher and the male teacher.

 

In one of the conversations dated October 6, the two referred to each other in romantic terms of “Hi dear” and “hi my love”.

Special Crimes Prevention Unit officers on Thursday traveled to Gaitegi village in Embu County where they confirmed that Kyengo was killed inside a rented house belonging to the suspect.

Police recovered a knife from a pit latrine in the suspect’s home.

This is the knife police believe was used by the killers to slit Kyengo’s neck as well as stab him twice in the stomach.

The detectives have also gone out of their way to ascertain the behaviour of the man from villagers.

The sources said Kyengo and the suspect have known each other since 2008 when they first met at a seminary in Machakos County.

They have since maintained close contact.

A villager told the police that the suspect is a staunch Catholic and a member of the local church choir.

The teacher, who is not married, is said to have turned to trading in cereals after failing to secure a teaching job.

On Thursday, the police arrested a motorbike operator in Kirinyaga over the murder.

Solomon Mutava, 44, is alleged to be the man who drove the priest’s vehicle from Embu to Malindi on the night of October 9.

This was a day after Kyengo went missing.

Police have claimed that the suspect had asked Mutava to drive him to Malindi since he did not have a driving license despite knowing how to drive.

Sources said Mutava was being considered for a State witness in the case.

The first suspect was arrested in Malindi town on October 11 by officers from the DCI while driving the slain priest’s car.

Police divulged that the vehicle had its colour changed from white to grey.

It is this suspect who has led the police to the house where Kyengo is believed to have died and also directed the officers to where the body was recovered.

Police have been conducting forensics on the cellphone of a senior Catholic church leader in Embu to ascertain his whereabouts on the nights of October 8 and 9, when Kyengo is believed to have been killed

This is after the same suspect told the police that the senior church leader had differences with the priest.

The man told the investigators that Kyengo had confided in him of the bad blood between him and his boss. The two are said to have differed over money.