Police officers in Eldoret town on Friday, January 6, 2023, arrested the prime suspect linked to the brutal murder of LGBTQ activist Edwin Kiptoo alias Chiloba.
While speaking during a media briefing at Eldoret Central police station, Uasin Gishu County Criminal Investigations Officer (CCIO) Peter Kimulwo noted that the suspect, Jacktone Odhiambo, a 24-year-old freelance photographer based in Nairobi has been a close friend to the deceased and had traveled to Eldoret for the New Year festivities.
"The suspect is a freelance photographer. He lives in Nairobi and had just come to join his friends for the New Year,” the CCIO stated.
Kimulwo stated that Odhiambo and two other individuals were staying at the deceased's house in Eldoret where they spent time together.
They were even spotted having fun at a popular club on the outskirts of Eldoret town on January 1, 2023, as they ushered in the New Year.
"They left the club at around 3:00 am and headed to where they lived. When they arrived at the house, the neighbours said they heard some commotion which subsided after a while," Kimulwo said.
Neighbours claim that they did not follow up on the cause of the commotion. They, however, told police that they spotted two people loading a metal box into a vehicle whose registration number was concealed and left.
"We suspect that the noise heard during the commotion was the time the deceased was killed," Kimulwo added.
"That was the last day the deceased was spotted alive," he added.
Later in the day, the said neighbours raised alarm after a foul smell emanated from the trios' house.
"Some of the neighbours questioned the prime suspect over the foul smell emanating from the house, but they were told that probably a rat had died," Kimulwo stated.
Following the revelation, police are interrogating the suspect to give accounts of what transpired. Police have also launched a manhunt for the two other individuals who assisted in loading the metal box into the car.
Deceased's family speaks
The family of the deceased claimed that he was an orphaned child and his sister was paying for his school fees at the Eldoret University where he was pursuing a degree in fashion and design and was nearly graduating.
"We had a lot of hopes in him, he used to work really hard. We urge the police to ensure that his killers are brought to book; The last conversation we had with him was on Christmas day and New Year's eve, he had promised to visit us at home," Chelimo Tanui, a cousin to the deceased stated.