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Witnesses couldn’t identify foreigner arrested at JKIA in connection Rita Waeni’s murder

By Hilary Kimuyu January 18th, 2024 2 min read

A foreign national who was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in connection to the brutal murder and dismemberment of a 20-year-old woman has been released.

Authorities privy to the investigation say that the foreigner who was traveling on a Mozambican passport and interrogated at the airport before being sent to the Kasarani Police Station for identification did not meet the description.

His release came after witnesses failed to identify him as the man seen on CCTV where a Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology student Rita Waeni was killed.

According to the detectives, the suspect arrested at the airport did not speak Swahili and had been staying in South C.

“Witnesses including the owner of the Airbnb said that the suspect spoke Swahili when he called her. The family of the victim shared the same information, saying the suspect spoke Swahili during their interactions while also demanding the Sh500,000 ransom,” police revealed.

Also read: TRM Drive killer demanded Sh500k ransom – family

They also said he appeared young, light, and well-versed in the area.

In a statement on Wednesday, her family expressed the horror they endured hours before their kin was brutally murdered.

According to the family Spokesperson Lilian Mutea, Waeni was a fourth-year student at JKUAT.

“On Saturday, our daughter Rita Waeni Muendo left her aunt’s residence in Syokimau to meet with a friend. On Sunday, at 5.00am, her father received a message, delivered from her phone number, demanding a ransom of Sh500,000 within 24 hours for her release,” the family Spokesperson said.

She said the family reported the matter to the police and investigations began. Moments later, two messages were sent to the family demanding the ransom.

“Unfortunately, the family did not get further details about the ransom or an opportunity to explore this route. Additionally, some demands were made when she had already been murdered,” Mutea said.

Also read: How the TRM Drive killer lured woman to her death at rented BnB

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the owner of the rental apartment, Ms Priscila Maina, was arraigned in court with three others and will remain in custody for the next 10 days as investigations into the matter continue. She was arraigned alongside Kelvin Mutiso, Eugene Omondi, and Brian Kinoti.

Ms Maina is in custody for failure to register her tenant’s crucial details as required by the law, which would have helped the DCI to trace the murderer.