The main suspect in the disappearance of a 42-year old Nakuru trader confessed that he killed her and buried her body near a river.
Moses Kipchirchir Ruto, 34, told the police that he killed Veronica Kanini by strangling her on Friday night and later buried her body the following morning.
“Ruto told the detectives that after killing her, he left her body at the scene of the murder, before returning the following morning at dawn carrying a jembe. He used the jembe to dig the shallow grave where he burried her remains,” a statement by DCI read.
The suspect, who had earlier on denied any involvement with the trader’s disappearance led the police to the scene of crime along the banks of river Molo, in Mogotio, Baringo county.
“Detectives based in Mogotio exhumed the decomposing remains of Veronicah Kanini, 42, from a shallow grave at a secluded snake infested thicket, along the river that drains its waters into Lake Baringo,” DCI said.
The family was able to identify her decomposing body only by the clothes she wore when she left home on November 12.
On the fateful day, Kanini left her home in Nakuru in the morning as usual and headed for Mogotio town where she sold seat covers.
“On the day she disappeared, my wife prepared breakfast for the family and left for the market as usual. We spoke on phone during the day and there was no indication of any problem,” Mariko Njuguna, her husband, said.
Her 21-year old daughter Rahab Wanjiru said that her mother was jovial when she left.
“She told me would call me after arriving at the market but she didn’t. I didn’t read too much into it. I felt she may have been busy. I waited for her call the whole afternoon but she did not. I tried calling her in the evening but I couldn’t reach her. I kept on hoping all was well,” said Wanjiru.
Later in the evening at around 6pm, Njuguna received a call from his wife asking for Kshs3000 that was urgent. She was speaking in Kikuyu but a male voice in the background harshly asked her to speak in Swahili.
“In the course of our talk, she switched to Kikuyu and told me she needed the money to secure her freedom. I heard a voice in the background and the person ordered her to speak in Kiswahili,” the father of five said.
Immediately after calling her husband, Kanini called two neighbours who sent her an unspecified amount of money.
The matter was reported to the police a serach for Kanini was immediately launched.
“After failing to trace her in Mogotio town that night, the DCIO contacted crime busters from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau based at DCI headquarters, to help unravel the puzzle,” DCI stated.
The suspect, who received the money that Kanini was requesting for through M-pesa, was arrested in November 13.
The suspect however did not provide the police with any information regarding the disappearance of Kanini until the evening of November 23.
He was arragned in court on November 15 where the court allowed him to held in custody for 14 days as police investigated the matter.
“Preliminary investigations conducted by cybercrime and crime scene experts, have placed Ruto at the scene of Kanini’s grievous murder. Meanwhile, Kanini’s body has been moved to Nakuru municipal mortuary pending postmortem,” DCI further said.