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Why Santonia Apartments In Kilimani Is Becoming A Killing Den

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Santonia Court, along Kirichwa Gardens Road in Kilimani is slowly being turned into a killing den following the death of Sheila Njeri Murage on July 17.

Her body was found dumped at the flowerbed on that day, raising chilling memories of a similar incident in 2012.

According to The Standard, it was at the apartments that a former Kenya Power employee, Careen Chepchumba, was found dead on February 12, 2012.

Careen — who was a friend to former TV news anchor Louis Otieno — was found dead in her apartment in a case that remains unsolved even after a court ordered an inquest into the matter.

LEFT: Former television news anchor Louis Otieno. RIGHT: The deceased Ms Careen Chepchumba. Source: Nairobi News

In 2018, the court declared that police botched the investigation and recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions order an inquiry into the murder.

Then magistrate Charles Ondieki ruled that Careen’s death was not an accident.

“The cause of Careen’s death was not suicide. It was not accidental. The cause of death cannot be said to be undetermined. The cause was strangulation. These are inevitable findings,” he revealed.

Sheila’s body was discovered in a flowerbed at Santonia Court by workers. Those who attended the scene said blood was oozing from her nose, and she had back injuries.

File image of deceased Sheila Njeri Murage. Source: File

So far, police said no family member or friend has claimed the body. A postmortem examination report revealed that Sheila was sexually assaulted and died as a result of head injuries due to blunt force trauma. 

Three suspects linked to her death were arraigned in court on July 23. One of them was Shem Lwanga.

Christine Aluoch and Claire Ng’eno were released on Sh100,000 bail. The third suspect, Lwanga, was remanded for DNA profiling.

Ng’eno was allowed to access her house even though police termed it a scene of crime. Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot directed Aluoch and Ng’eno to report daily to the investigating officer of the case until new orders are issued. 

The magistrate turned down an application by the prosecution led by State Prosecutor Kennedy Panyako to deny all the three suspects bond until investigations are complete. 

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta for Aluoch and Ng’eno explained that due to their gender they cannot be detained for extraction of some samples for DNA profiling. He said his clients will cooperate with police to the end. 

Panyako disclosed the autopsy revealed a possible murder case that was preceded by a sexual assault.

“An autopsy report indicates that the deceased died as a result of head injuries due to blunt force trauma with sexual assault preceding the murder.” He added that police are pursuing crucial witnesses and other possible suspects.

Sheila was among at least four people who attended a party at the apartment on July 17, with her body discovered the following day. It is not clear if she was pushed or hit at the scene. 

Tenants at the apartment disclosed that they did not know her, but she was familiar as she had visited before. They told police they could not recall hearing commotion or noise,but further revealed that they were aware there was a party at house number B 03 on the second floor. 

Lwanga was at a club along Lang’ata Road before he joined the party. It’s at the party that he met the woman and it is not clear if they knew each other.

He revealed to police that he fell asleep on the couch on the material day and was awaken hours later by the owner of the house and taken to a room. Hours after Lwanga had left the apartment he was called by police and asked to report to Kilimani Police Station for questioning regarding the discovery of the body.

Police have so far interrogated at least 12 people in connection with the incident. They include neighbours and guards at the apartment.

The occupants of the house told police the woman left the party but could not recall the time.

Police revealed that there are no CCTV cameras around the compound to help them unravel the murder and know if there were other parties involved.

“We call on owners of structures to have cameras in and around them to help in such incidents. We are now struggling to get to the bottom of this incident similar to another one that happened there in 2012,” said an officer aware of the probe.

The Standard revealed that the apartments belong to a politician. Guards revealed that they did not see any other party get in and out of the compound to suggest an intruder committed the murder.

File image of Kilimani Police Station. Source: File

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