Kitengela murder: Postmortem reveals Shantel, 8, died from suffocation

Postmortem reveals Shantel died from suffocation

In Summary

• Navity Mutindi Nthuku, 27 and Agnes Kasiva Nzioka were arrested in Athi River and Kitengela towns respectively on Thursday night.

• Isinya subcounty police commander Jeremiah Ndubai said one of the women, Nthuku, was positively identified at a parade by Shantel's friends as the main suspect in the murder.

Shantel Nzembi.
Shantel Nzembi.
Image: COURTESY

A postmortem conducted on the body of Shantel Nzembi has revealed she died from suffocation by blockage of the mouth and nose. 

Government pathologist Johanson Odour conducted the autopsy on Friday at Shalom Community Hospital.

"For defilement claims, we have not established but we have taken some samples for analysis," he said.

There were claims the girl might have been defiled.

Meanwhile, two more suspects, both women, have been arrested in connection to Nzembi’s kidnapping and murder raising the number of those nabbed so far to four.

Navity Mutindi Nthuku, 27 and Agnes Kasiva Nzioka were arrested in Athi River and Kitengela towns respectively on Thursday night.

Isinya subcounty police commander Jeremiah Ndubai said one of the women, Nthuku, was positively identified at a parade by Shantel's friends as the main suspect in the murder.

"We laid strategies to search for Shantel Nzembi who had been reported missing. We got information that there were people who were calling her mother demanding a ransom to release her. While focusing on her rescue, we later got information that the body was discovered somewhere, " Ndubai told reporters on Friday.

Ndubai added, "We first arrested a suspect who was using the phone that was used to demand the ransom. From there, our relationship with the public helped us arrest the suspect who we committed to an identification parade and was positively identified by Shantel's friends as the one who took her, she is the prime suspect in the murder."

The main suspect according to police sources operated an M-Pesa shop around where the slain girl’s family lives hence understands the area well.

It is suspected that the woman could have lured the deceased to her kidnappers leading to her killing.

Two other suspects in the girl’s murder, a boda boda operator Livingstone Makacha Otengo, 27, and Francis Mbuthia Mikuhu, 42, were both arrested on Wednesday.

A Kajiado Law court on Thursday granted detectives 10 days to detain the duo, pending conclusion of investigations.

They failed to take a plea after the prosecution filed an application seeking to detain the duo for 10 more days.

The suspects appeared before Kajiado resident magistrate Edwin Mulochi.The court heard that Otengo, a boda boda operator within Kitengela town, was arrested at Orata area in Kitengela, Kajiado county, on Wednesday.

He was allegedly in possession of a mobile phone believed to have been used to seek ransom from the deceased’s mother.

Mikuhu was according to the prosecution nabbed at around 9pm on the same day.

He is suspected to have used his ID to register an Airtel number where the ransom was to be wired to.

Otengo and Mikuhu didn’t object to the prosecution’s request to have them detained further.

Mulochi directed that the suspects be detained at Kitengela police station where they were held before being produced in court.

Nzembi, who was a Grade 2 pupil, went missing on Saturday from her home in Ashut area in Kitengela.

Once a police report was filed and a search kicked off, the eight-year old’s body was found dumped at Orata, Noonkopir, on Monday.

Nzembi’s body, according to multiple sources, was inside a trench. It was wrapped in a light blue bed sheet.

Prior to her disappearance, the deceased’s mother, Christine Ngina said that her daughter had gone outside to play with her friend, whom she identified as Sharon. She was last seen on Saturday at around 3pm.

Detectives privy to the investigations said the deceased did not find her friend Sharon and instead went to play with other children.

Hours later, after her mother tried to look for her in vain, she received a phone call from an unknown person who told her that Shantel was in their custody.

“The female caller told me that she had my daughter. She kept on referring to me as mama Sharon though I told her my daughter was called Shantel. She said that if I wanted to see her alive, I should pay Sh300,000, ” Ngina said.