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Rita Waeni’s decapitated head offers more clues on her brutal death

By Hilary Kimuyu January 25th, 2024 2 min read

The government Pathologist Johansen Oduor on Thursday, January 25, revealed how Rita Waeni Muendo, the 20-year-old university student whose decapitated body was found in an apartment at Kasarani, died.

Speaking to the media after her family positively identified a severed head that was found in Kiambaa dam, Kiambu, on Sunday, January 21, Mr Oduor said that the deceased died of strangulation before she was decapitated.

“The identification was based on her forehead, hair and teeth formation,” he said.

Speaking to Nation on Tuesday, January 23, Oduor said that a post-mortem on the head was important since last week’s exercise was inconclusive as to what was Waeni’s exact cause of death and establish how she died on January 13 at an apartment in Roysambu, Nairobi.

While having stayed in the water for days softened the outer layer of the skin, which could conceal evidence of external abrasions, Dr Oduor said the inner layers of the skin would still provide evidence of what transpired.

“We shall establish if there were strangulation marks on the neck and whether there was blunt trauma as would be seen with bruises in the inner layer of the skin. Additionally, a DNA examination will help prove scientifically that the head belongs to the victim,” he explained.

Waeni’s killers decapitated her head at the lower neck and dumped it separately from the rest of her dismembered body in what is believed to have been an attempt to conceal evidence.

Waeni’s relatives concluded that the head was hers after viewing it at the City Mortuary and seeing the items it was recovered with at Kiambaa Police Station.

The family had identified a blouse that had been found wrapped around the head when it was discovered.

The 20-year-old JKUAT student was murdered in a flat in TRM Drive, Roysambu, and her body was found stuffed in a dustbin.

A post-mortem examination which was conducted last week revealed that Waeni’s body had been brutally mutilated. The body had been dismembered, with the head and legs separated from the rest of the body.

Her killers also clipped her nails in a possible attempt to hide evidence.

Detectives have since arrested two Nigerian nationals, William Ovie Opia and Johnbull Asbor on suspicion of having committed the killing.

The two were arraigned in Makadara Monday as police sought to detain them for eight days to complete investigations.

“The foreigners are found to be unlawfully present in Kenya since William Ovie Opia’s passport number A08322863 is expired while Johnbull Asibor does not have a passport, only claiming he lost it about a year ago,” an affidavit filed by detective Benjamin Wangila stated.

The two will remain in custody until next week on Wednesday when the police are expected to file charges against them.