A man who extorted his late friend’s family in the United States without informing them that the friend had died has been detained for 21 days pending investigations.
Stephen Karanja was arrested on January 13 by Kasarani detectives for the murder of Victor Wangai.
He is accused of impersonating the late Wangai, contacting his family and friends through his phone, and demanding money.
He is said to have contacted Jane Nduta, the late friend’s mother, as well as Everlyne Wakio, the deceased’s close friend.
It is not clear where he got his details to use them for the mission.
But it is believed he was behind his admission to the hospital.
Wangai’s family filed a missing person report at a Kahawa West Police station on January 4.
They later found the body of their late relative at the Kenyatta National Hospital Mortuary a few days later, on January 10, labeled as an unknown African male.
It emerged the deceased was admitted to KNH on December 1, 2022, as a referral from St Francis Community Hospital.
He would later succumb at the KNH on December 9.
Police investigating the case were granted 21 days to complete their investigations.
The detectives are looking for clues such as the deceased’s phone, which they believe is in the possession of the main suspect.
Officers will also communicate with hospitals where the deceased is said to have sought treatment in order to determine the cause of death.
The probe is ongoing.
Police say on the day that Wangai went missing, a good Samaritan admitted him at St Francis Hospital along Thika road about five kilometers away from where he lived in Kiamumbi with life-threatening injuries.
It was 5 pm on December 1 last year and Wangai appeared to have been badly beaten.
While at KNH where he was admitted as an unknown male adult, he underwent surgery but died eight days later on December 9.
His eyes had been gouged out and his body had multiple injuries and fractures.
Then on December 10, a day after he died and as his body was growing cold at the KNH Mortuary, something strange happened.
A notification popped up on his family WhatsApp group showing that he had just changed his account to a new number.
That raised alarm among the family members who sought police help.