Detectives are holding two Nigerians in the probe into the murder of university student Rita Waeni Muendo.
A court allowed police to hold Nigerians are William Ovie Opia for eight days pending probe on their possible involvement in the murder.
The dismembered body of Waeni was found in a dustbin at an apartment on TRM Drive, Kasarani but her head is missing.
The two were arrested in Ndenderu area, Kiambu County on Sunday evening moments after a head of a woman was discovered at Ite Dam at Kimuga village in the area.
The head is believed to be of Waeni but needs further forensic analysis for identification.
Waeni’s family was unable to identify her head Monday at the City Mortuary although the police had said her head had been recovered at the dam in Kiambu on Sunday, January 21.
Records at the City Mortuary where the head had been taken indicated that it belonged to an unknown female adult.
A missing mobile phone that belonged to the deceased was also recovered at the scene.
Police said the two Nigerians are William Ovie Opia whose passport is expired and Johnbull Asbor who DCI said did not have any travel documents at the time of his arrest.
Asbor told the detectives that he lost his passport two years ago.
The suspects were traced by the DCI detectives to an apartment in Ndenderu in Kiambu County where they were picked up on Sunday.
Constable Benjamin Wangila of Kasarani DCI offices told a Makadara court on Monday January 22 that the suspects were living not very far from the area where Rita Waeni’s head was recovered.
A hatchet, butcher’s knife, a national identity card belonging to a Kenyan (name withheld), six mobile phones, three laptops, 10 SIM cards from different teleco service providers and other items were recovered at the house where the two suspects were living.
“The investigation team is seeking to obtain call data records for all the SIM cards and mobile phone numbers recovered from the respondents to ascertain whether they were involved in the murder,” Wangila said in an affidavit filed in the court.
“The applicant requires adequate time to escort the respondents to the Government Chemist for extraction of their blood samples for DNA analysis and comparison against the samples that were extracted from the scene of crime.”
He said the suspects are flight risks since they do not have a known fixed place of abode.
Wangila was seeking orders to hold the suspects for eight days at the Kasarani police station which were granted by Senior Principal Magistrate Agnes Mwangi of Makadara Law Courts.
They will be in custody until January 31.
Police said Opia bought a hatchet from an online vendor and he told investigators that he had bought it for self-defense.
Wangila said he is investigating a case of murder contrary to section 203 is read with section 204 of the Penal Code which was reported at Kasarani police station vide OB34/14/01/2024 by Priscila Maina, the owner of the short stay – rental apartment where Ms Waeni was killed.
Maina who is in custody told the police that she had received information from the caretaker of the apartment that there were blood traces from her apartment which led her to a garbage collection point on the ground floor where body parts were found stashed in refuse bags but the head was missing.
Pricila and three others are in custody for failure to register the tenant’s crucial details as required by the law, which would have helped the DCI to trace the murderer.
On Sunday, police recovered the head covered in a sack and wrapped in a purple blouse.
A postmortem conducted on the body on Friday January 19 showed she had missing fingernails.
Mystery surrounds the move by the killer to clip off her fingernails. Her body was found in a dustbin.
A postmortem conducted on the body on Friday showed she had missing nails.
“This person who did all these also tried to clip off the fingernails for reasons which I might not be able to know but for us scientists when we see fingernails clipped off, we think probably the person was trying to hide evidence so that we are unable to get his DNA from the victim,” government pathologist Johansen Oduor told reporters after the exercise.
The finding has left detectives puzzled with the motive of the killing still not yet established.
“I don’t know why but in investigations, such nails help in gathering evidence. People fight when dying and DNA evidence can be hidden there,” Oduor said.
Oduor however said there were remnants of some fingernails and that samples were taken for further analysis to help police in their investigations.