Suspect in the murder of Kenyan woman in the US arrested clubbing in Westlands


• Detectives have been visiting a home in Thogoto, Kiambu County, believed to be that of the suspect but did not find him.

The late Margaret Mbitu

A Kenyan who is wanted in the US over the alleged murder of his girlfriend, a US nurse in Boston was arrested in Nairobi’s Westlands area.

Detectives said they are holding the suspect who was wanted over the murder of Margaret Mbitu on diverse dates between October 30, 2023, and November 4, 2023, in Boston, USA.

The suspect was arrested at a club on Monday night by police who had been tipped off, sources said.

Police said the man had an Interpol Red Notice on his head.

He had been on the run since November last year when he flew from the USA to Kenya.

Senior officials at the Gigiri police station said they had informed DCI headquarters and were waiting for identifiers from the US police to help in facilitating the process of identifying the suspect in custody.

“We have a man believed to be the suspect who is wanted in the US over murder. We are waiting for more profiling to know the way forward,” a senior official aware of the probe said.

If he is positively identified, the officials said they will liaise with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to start the extradition process.

Kenyan detectives had last November received a request from the US authorities to arrest the suspect for alleged murder in Massachusetts.

The victim’s mother said she was planning to break up with the suspect.

An arrest warrant was issued on November 2, after Massachusetts State Police found the body of 31-year-old Margaret in a car at Boston’s Logan Airport Central Parking garage the night before.

Detectives have been visiting a home in Thogoto, Kiambu County, believed to be that of the suspect but did not find him.

Officials in the US had also urged the suspect to surrender.

“We urge this suspect to turn himself to authorities before he or anyone else gets hurt. We are making every effort possible to apprehend him and to begin the process of seeking justice for Margaret Mbitu and those mourning her tragic death,” Suffolk County DA Kevin Hayden said in a statement then.

US police in Whitman area said Margaret was last seen leaving work in Halifax around 11 pm on October 30.

At some point after that, investigators said she was murdered.

Margaret’s mother, Rose Mbitu, told the media in the US that her daughter was planning to break up with the suspect.

At 6.30 pm on November 1, police officers in Boston found Margaret’s car with her body inside.

US authorities are convinced of one thing—that the suspect, 40, murdered Magret, as she was affectionately known to family and close friends, before buying tickets for a 16-hour flight to Nairobi, a move detectives believe was to avoid prosecution.

The tickets, it has now emerged, were bought early on October 31 morning, just hours after Margaret’s death.

Massachusetts authorities are hoping to take advantage of Kenya’s extradition treaty with the US, which led to the conviction of two members of the notorious Akasha family on drug trafficking and other charges.

Preliminary evidence gathered from the deceased’s car indicated that the former partner was the primary suspect.  

Margaret lived with her family in Whitman and worked in Boston Area Multi-Services Inc (Bamsi) in Brockton, about 7.2 kilometres away.

On October 30 night, she drove 62 kilometres to Boston Logan Airport to see the suspect.

He lived in Lowell, 80 kilometres from Margaret’s home in Whitman.

Kevin Kangethe,suspected of killing his girlfriend in a US airport
Image: Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

Local media reported that surveillance footage placed Margaret’s car in Lowell and in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the day before she was killed.

The 31-year-old nurse clocked out of her shift at 11 pm last October 30.

She got into her white Toyota Venza and drove off, in what would be the last time she would be seen alive.

Those close to Margaret knew she would return home after work. Family members reported her missing after she did not return home and could not be reached by phone.

It is still unknown whether she knew her partner was planning to travel to Kenya.

Two days later, Massachusetts State Police officers found Margaret’s body in her car. Authorities have not revealed much, except that preliminary evidence points to the former partner as the prime suspect.

Margaret was a naturalised US citizen. She graduated from Quincy College in 2018 and worked for Bamsi, a non-profit organisation.

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