Her screams for help did not bring her help: Story of university student, 24, killed in her Kasarani house

By Brian Okoth On Wed, 20 Nov, 2019 18:36 | 4 mins read
Mystery continues to surround the death of a 24-year-old Kisii University student, who was found lying lifeless in her house in Kasarani. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Mystery continues to surround the death of a 24-year-old Kisii University student, who was found lying lifeless in her house in Kasarani. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
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    Mystery continues to surround the death of a 24-year-old Kisii University student, who was found lying lifeless in her rented house in Sunton, Kasarani on November 10.

Mystery continues to surround the death of a 24-year-old Kisii University student, who was found lying lifeless in her rented house in Sunton, Kasarani on November 10.

This comes even as DCI officers in Kasarani, Nairobi, say they have gotten crucial leads to the death of Leah Momanyi, a Third-Year Bachelor of ICT student at the Nyanza-headquartered tertiary institution.

Leah’s uncle, Joseph Chacha, says he is optimistic that the new Kasarani DCIO will pin down the key suspect in her murder.

Leah was killed in her rented bedsitter in Kasarani on Friday, November 8, and her body discovered on Sunday, November 10, by a man said to be her boyfriend.

K24 Digital understands that Leah worked at a wines and spirits store in Kasarani to raise school fees ahead of January 2020 studies resumption.

Postmortem examination conducted on the student on Tuesday, November 12, at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home indicated that she was raped, strangled, and, thereafter, fatally hacked in the head and arm.

“What we gather is that after 11 O’clock in the night [of November 8], there were some screams emanating from Leah’s house. Neighbours told us that her distress calls faded instantly,” Joseph Chacha, Leah’s uncle from the maternal side, told KTN News in a recent interview.

According to the watchman of the apartment where Leah was staying, he heard the said-screams at around 11:35pm Friday, but could not identify which of the houses was the source of the loud, piercing cry.

According to the security guard, identified only as Museveni, “darkness made it hard to identify the house”.

Two hours later, Museveni is said to have reported the incident at the nearby Sunton Police Station.

Questions arose as to why Museveni did not notice when Leah’s suspected killer(s) entered the building, and why he [Museveni] took long to file a report at the police post, which is located approximately 50 meters from the scene of crime.

Police attached to Sunton reportedly arrived at the apartment one hour after the incident was reported, but also failed to identify the house where the woman’s screams emanated from.

The cops returned to the building early Saturday (November 9), and left without identifying or accessing Leah’s house.

It was Leah’s said-boyfriend, Benson Chacha, who arrived at her house on Sunday morning (November 10) and discovered that she had been killed.

“The last time she spoke to me on phone was at 11pm on Friday (November 8). My subsequent calls and texts to her were not returned. I got worried, and planned a trip from Kuria to Nairobi so that I could establish what was wrong with Leah. I arrived in Nairobi at 5am on Sunday (November 10), and went straight to her Kasarani house. Given I had a spare key to her house located on the second floor of the apartment, I managed to access it. I was shocked to find her lifeless half-naked body on a blood-stained floor,” Benson told KTN News.

Leah’s uncle, Joseph Chacha, wonders why it took Sunton police officers more than two days to cordon off Leah’s house.

According to Chacha, even after discovering that a woman had been killed in the Sunton apartment, the cops failed to alert Kasarani DCI office.

“I had to personally inform the DCIO in Kasarani about my niece’s death. That meant that the investigation process, including dusting for fingerprints, had to be done afresh,” said Chacha, adding: “The slow response by authorities really broke my heart.”

Police say they found a stainless kitchen knife suspected to have been used in the murder on the doorstep of Leah’s house.

It is suspected that Leah’s male family friend, who was allegedly spotted entering her house shortly after Leah arrived home at 10pm, is behind her murder.

It is alleged that the male friend had, in the past, asked Leah to accept his relationship proposal but she rejected him.

The suspect’s three phone lines remain unreachable, and he was last traced to Kenya-Tanzania border in Migori County.

Shortly before her death, Leah had sent her boyfriend Benson Chacha messages that the said-man was “pestering her for a relationship”.

Leah’s uncle, Joseph Chacha, has told K24 Digital that investigations into Leah’s death have been taken up by a new DCIO in Kasarani, who has taken over from Mwenda Meme.

“So far, there is no significant development into the investigations, but the new Kasarani DCIO has assembled a team to steer the probe. He tells me that they have good leads into the matter, and that once significant progress is made, they will alert me. However, I have noticed impressive change on how the case is being handled. And now that there is a focal point-person, I am certain that the investigations will go on smoothly,” said Joseph Chacha.

On whether he is aware of the said-man, who allegedly killed Leah after she rejected him, Chacha said: “I would not confidently say that the said-man is the key suspect in my niece’s murder. However, if he is, then authorities would inform us soon.”

Chacha says that police handed over Leah’s body to them, and that the 24-year-old’s remains will be transported from Kenyatta University Funeral Home on Thursday, November 21 ahead of her burial on Friday, November 22, at her parents’ home in Nyamira County.

Leah was the first born in a family of three siblings. Her immediate follower, a brother, is in Form Three, and the last born, a girl, is in Form One.