Rita Waeni's murderer tried clipping off her fingernails -Autopsy reveals


• The motive of the killing still not yet established.

• The autopsy confirmed that the body was dismembered with the head chopped off and the legs also cut away from the trunk.

Roysambu and Rita Waeni

Pathologists are puzzled by the move by the killer of university student Rita Waeni Muendo whose body was found in a dustbin in Roysambu to clip off her fingernails.

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.

The finding has left detectives puzzled with the motive of the killing still not yet established.

"I don't know why but in investigations, such nails help in gathering evidence. People fight when dying and DNA evidence can be hidden there," Oduor said.

Oduor however said there were remnants of some fingernails and that samples were taken for further analysis to help police in their investigations.

The autopsy confirmed that the body was dismembered with the head chopped off and the legs also cut away from the trunk.

"The skin looks like it was cut with a sharp object but the bone was sawed off with what looks like a hacksaw. This is the first time I am seeing something like this. In my forensic life, I have never come across such an incident, Oduor said.

The pathologists picked samples from the kidney, stomach, vagina and blood for toxicology analysis at a government chemist for further tests to ascertain if there were substances introduced to the body.

This is after police suspected the woman was drugged before being murdered on January 13 at an apartment.

A team from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations joined the probe to focus on the killer who is still at large.

The detectives believe contrary to reports, the killer could be a Kenyan.

Preliminary findings show he had bought the mobile phone he used in communication with the owner of the apartment to lure Waeni to the scene and used a fake line registered in a woman’s name.

Police are now focusing on the motive of the murder given the woman had just known his killer days earlier.

They are talking to the parents, fellow students at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and her friends as part of efforts to know why she was killed.

Witnesses in the murder probe say the killer spoke in Swahili when he interacted with them.

 They further say he looked young and light and seemed well-versed in the area.

The witnesses include the owner of the short-stay rental apartment and two other men.

The family said the killer had demanded a ransom of Sh500,000 for him not to kill Waeni.

It also emerged the killer had sent a picture to the family using Rita’s mobile phone as he prepared to kill her using a hacksaw as part of an effort to push them to send the money he had demanded.

According to the family, she left her aunt's residence in Syokimau to meet with a friend.

They say at around 5 am on Sunday, her father received a message, delivered from her phone number, demanding a ransom of Sh500,000 within 24 hours for the release of the student.

“With this message, the family reported the matter to the police and DCI, and investigations began,” said the statement.

They said an additional 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,” the family said.

The body parts of the student, who was due to join her fourth year of university, were found inside a trash bag in the apartment by the caretaker on Sunday, January 14.

Her head was however missing.

“We believe she was lured by her killer, who also tried to extort money from her family, even after killing her,” the family added.

They described her as “an intelligent, smart girl beyond her age at the very start of her youth,” who was known for her kindness, laughter, and “ability to light up any room she entered.”

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