Human head found in Kiambaa dam belongs to Rita Waeni, family confirms

The family of University student Rita Waeni has identified a severed head found in Kiambaa dam, Kiambu, based on her forehead, hair, and teeth formation.

Pathologists are conducting an autopsy to determine her death on January 13 at an apartment in Nairobi.

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

Detectives suspect the killing of Waeni was part of an ongoing occultism in the country.

“It looks like a ritual which I think was motivated by a cult-like belief,” said an officer aware of the issue.

The investigation team wants to know if there are more such killings similar to that of Waeni.

The dismembered body of Waeni was found at an apartment on TRM Drive, Kasarani but her head was missing.

On Sunday, police recovered the head covered in a sack and wrapped in a purple blouse. A missing mobile phone that belonged to the deceased was also recovered at the scene.

A postmortem conducted on the body on Friday, January 19 showed she had missing fingernails.

Latest updates as DCI probe human head discovered at Kiambaa Dam in Kiambu  | Pulselive Kenya

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.

Police were Monday allowed to hold two Nigerians in the probe into the murder of university student Rita Waeni Muendo.

A Makadara court granted police eight days to detain the two Nigerians identified as William Ovie Opia for eight days pending a probe into their possible involvement in the murder of the student.

The two were arrested in the Ndenderu area, Kiambu County on Sunday evening moments after the head of a woman was discovered at Ite Dam at Kimuga village in the area.

Opia’s passport is expired and Asbor who DCI said did not have any travel documents at the time of his arrest are helping with investigations.

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 arrested on Sunday.

Police Constable Benjamin Wangila of Kasarani DCI offices told the Makadara court the suspects were living near the area where Waeni’s head was recovered.

Among the items that were recovered in their house include 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 telecom service providers and other items.

Police want to obtain call data records for all the SIM cards and mobile phone numbers recovered from the two to ascertain whether they were involved in the murder.

They have denied they were involved in the murder.

The detectives also want to escort the two 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 the crime.

Senior Principal Magistrate Agnes Mwangi of Makadara Law Courts allowed police to detain the two. 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-defence.

Wangila said he is investigating a case of murder contrary to section 203 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 Waeni was killed.

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.

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