What you need to know:
Kigumo DCI boss says regular police officers interfered with crime scene, where body of a 54-year-old man was discovered in Murang'a County.
DCI boss also claims no sniffer dogs were taken to the scene and the area was not dusted for fingerprints.
Investigations into the horrific murder of a man in Kambogo Village in Murang’a County have pitted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the regular police over the management of the crime scene.
The body of 54-year-old Samuel Mungai Gachihi was discovered on October 22, some 300 meters from his house, with a cracked skull, slit throat and private parts, tongue, nose, eyes, teeth and ears missing. His head had also been skinned.
And, as pressure mounts for perpetrators of the heinous act to be brought to book, Kigumo DCI boss Morris Kimathi complained that regular police officers interfered with the crime scene, hence complicating investigations.
This complaint drew the wrath of Murang’a security bosses and Mr Kimathi has since been transferred to Gatanga Sub-County and demoted to serve as deputy DCI boss.
Mr Kimathi had told the Nation that “regular police from Kaharate police patrol base arrived at the scene and did not attempt to secure it, went ahead and retrieved the body and left the area open for access by all and sundry.”
He told the Nation that when homicide experts arrived, there was no scene to investigate since it had been transformed into a public zone, thereby compromising the collection of vital specimens and items.
With an unsecured scene, preliminary evidence collection was gravely compromised.
While the police have sniffer dogs, none was taken to the scene and the area was not dusted for fingerprints.
The officers also did not investigate the victim’s house to ascertain whether he was forcibly taken from there.
Members of the public, who were among those who arrived at the scene, first broke into his house to get a blanket to cover his body for the journey to the Murang’a mortuary.
Additionally, no scene photographs were taken, hence no inventory log was prepared to account for the scene’s biological and latent evidence.
These are the lapses that Mr Kimathi was blaming on the general duty officers.
But Mr Kimathi’s complaints did not go down well with Kigumo police boss Michael Ndegwa who accused him of “dereliction of duty and playing the victim.”
“As the man in charge of the police servicemen and women in this sub-county, I will, at whatever court, defend how my officers dealt with the issue. Ask him (Mr Kimathi) what he was doing from the time we received information about the murder at around 6am on October 23 until 11am when my officers retrieved the body,” Mr Ndegwa charged.
Mr Ndegwa said the crime scene “belongs” to the DCI to secure and retrieval of the body is the work of the general duty officers.
“We could not camp at the scene waiting for him to appear as the residents were complaining of the continued presence of the body on a public path,” Mr Ndegwa said.
Murang’a County DCI boss Julianna Muthini confirmed that Mr Kimathi had been transferred and demoted.
“All I want to say is that the officer is out of that area and a new one has been posted … For more information contact the area or county police commander,” she said.
Mr Ndegwa said his officers retrieved an iron bar from the scene and it is believed to have been the blunt force that cracked the deceased’s skull.
He said investigations were now focusing on four prime suspects believed to have had a hand in the murder.
Among the suspects are a man believed to have lured the victim out of his house, a local boda-boda operator whose utterances both at the scene and the burial raised significant suspicions as well as two others.
“It is our stand that the new DCI boss will move with speed to crack this case. We are committed to pursuing the perpetrators of this heinous act. It is just a matter of time before we crack it,” he said.