STRANGLED

Cops probe murder of BBC journalist in her hotel room in Nairobi

Preliminary investigations show the journalist was strangled to death.

In Summary

•The man also died after he jumped from their room in the eighth floor landing on his back, as he tried to escape from the scene of crime.

•Officials said Mitchell pressed the alarm bell when the altercation worsened but was strangled before she could receive help.

Crime scene
Crime scene
Image: THE STAR

Police are investigating the death of a BBC journalist Kate Mitchell whose body was found lying at her hotel room in Nairobi on Friday.

Preliminary investigations show the journalist was strangled to death by a man she was seen with earlier and at the same hotel in Kileleshwa area.

The man also died after he jumped from their room in the eighth floor landing on his back, as he tried to escape from the scene of crime.

Police said they are investigating the murder.

The two are reported to have been embroiled in an argument that turned into an altercation and later claimed both of their lives.

Officials said Mitchell pressed the alarm bell when the altercation worsened but was strangled before she could receive help.

Nairobi regional Commander Augustine Nthumbi said Mitchell’s hotel room’s door had been locked from inside when detectives arrived.

They found Mitchell lying dead inside the room and noticed some broken window chippings that were lying on the floor. 

Upon checking through the window, the detectives saw a man’s body lying on the ground. He was later identified as the man she had been seen with earlier.

"The suspected culprit had jumped off the eighth floor of the hotel through the room’s window after sensing that the hotel security might be after him,” Nthumbi said.

The motive of the killing is yet to be known.

The body was moved to the mortuary where an autopsy is planned.

“We are providing support to the family of a British national who has died in Kenya and we’re in touch with the Kenyan authorities. Our thoughts and with their family at this difficult time,” the British High Commissioner said.

The journalist who had returned to the country was attached to BBC Media Action's office in Ethiopia.

The office located in Addis Ababa focuses on telling true stories on unsafe and illegal migration, health and media development.

An internal communication to BBC staff in Nairobi says the circumstances of her death are not very clear at the moment.

“We are working with the UK High commission and the police in Nairobi…there is no indication that her death is connected to her work or to the BBC,” the memo said in part.

In her role, Mitchell was tasked with leading the media action which is the BBC’s international development charity.

The charity worked alongside other media organisations to promote rights and reduce poverty around the world.

 

Edited by B. Oruta