The family of Rita Waeni Muendo, whose mutilated body was discovered in a dustbin in Roysambu, has disclosed that the perpetrator demanded a ransom of Sh. 50,000 for her release.
According to Lilian Mutea, the family spokesperson, Rita, a fourth-year student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), left her aunt’s residence in Syokimau on January 13 to meet with a friend.
On January 14 at 5:00 am, the family received a message, purportedly from Rita’s phone number, demanding a ransom of Sh. 500,000 within 24 hours for her release.
The family promptly reported the matter to the police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), initiating an immediate investigation. Two additional messages were sent to the family, reiterating the demand for ransom.
Rita’s family was unable to gather further details about the ransom or explore this distressing route.
“Unfortunately, the family did not get further details about the ransom or an opportunity to explore this route,” Mutea said.
“After a painful and futile search, working with the DCI, we positively identified our child, as the girl tragically murdered at the wake of Sunday morning at/or around Thika Road Mall, January 14.”
Authorities have revealed that Rita and the suspect initially met through the Instagram social media platform.
Detectives, cracking into the slain woman’s account, discovered that the two avoided using voice calls or platforms like WhatsApp for communication, opting for Instagram. Their conversation progressed until they agreed to meet on January 13, which sadly marked the last day Rita was seen alive.
The police investigation suggests that the suspect, who booked a rental apartment in Roysambu, engaged Rita through conversation, leading to their meeting.
On the day of the meeting, the suspect allegedly committed the gruesome act in the bathroom of the rented apartment, dismembering Rita’s body and disposing of the parts in a garbage bag placed in a dustbin. The suspect absconded with Rita’s head, leaving the crime scene seemingly spotless.
While the family has identified Rita’s body, authorities have urged them to await forensic results to confirm her identity conclusively. Investigators are keen on determining whether Rita was drugged before the horrific crime.
Furthermore, the search continues for Rita’s missing head, personal belongings, including clothes and a mobile phone. Three suspects, including a foreigner intercepted at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), are currently under police questioning.