Death in Juja dam: A married man, mysterious woman and car in water

Margaret Kiiru and her husband Tirus Maina. Tirus drowned when his car rolled into a dam on January 18, 2023. 

It was a fine Tuesday evening when a married man took his secret lover to the outskirts of Thika town, away from the public eye, about 19  kilometres from his matrimonial home in Kiambu County.  

The choice of venue was both scenic and strategic. An open area with a serene dam in Juja.

It is an area that has become popular with lovers who carry soft drinks or liquor to imbibe as they enjoy views of the killer dam.

A visit to the area by the Nation reveals a fun spot beloved by many: there are beer bottles strewn all over the ground with locals saying the place is usually crowded over the weekend, especially on evenings. Most of the revellers, they say, are non-locals who drive in with their cars to enjoy the space and serenity the dam offers.

But for Tirus Maina, 39, and an unidentified woman, they were not so lucky this time. When they visited the area to unwind, they ended up dying together when their vehicle plunged into the dam. They died almost instantly, witnesses say. 

Two theories 

Mr Maina had parked his Nissan X-trail at the edge of the dam. Sources from the police and Kiambu's emergency department told the Nation that they currently have two theories about what may have transpired. 

The first is that Mr Maina might have been drunk and that instead of reversing the vehicle, he may have mistakenly driven into the dam and sank.

The second theory police are pursuing is that he may have driven into the water intentionally, thus pointing to suicide. 

Yesterday, Juja OCPD Phylis Muthoni, in whose jurisdiction the incident happened, told the Nation that the only thing they're certain of is that Mr Maina drove the car into the dam. Being so early in the investigation, sleuths on the case are yet to understand what really happened.

''We managed to retrieve the vehicle yesterday from the dam and we found it on drive mode, meaning Mr Maina may have driven into the dam by mistake. We are not ruling out any other factors...that is why we are investigating. I do not want to discuss it further until full  investigations are complete,’’ Ms Muthoni told the Nation.

Maina's wife speaks

Ms Margaret Kiiru, the man's wife, told the Nation on Thursday that she never suspected her husband was engaging in an extra-marital affair, adding that she was really saddened and shocked by his death.

She told the Nation that her husband, a contractor, left their Thika home on Tuesday morning. He told her he was going to Kathiani in Machakos County to inspect a project.

''My husband left home on Tuesday morning as usual. A friend who knows the registration plate of my husband's car later informed me that his vehicle had plunged into a dam and it was all over social media that he was with another woman in a compromising situation,’’ Ms Kiiru said.

She said there was no trouble in their marriage, adding that she regrets that he died in such a manner.

''We have one child. It's unfortunate how he met his death. He could have avoided it,’’ she said. 

On Thursday, Ms Kiiru and her in-laws camped at City Mortuary, Nairobi, where the post-mortem will be done.

Also at the morgue is the body of the woman he was with. It is still lying unclaimed with sources there saying no one has has come forward to identify her. 

''The family of Mr Maina is here for the post-mortem but the lady he was with has not been claimed by is a bit difficult to establish her real identity,’’ a morgue attendant who did not want to be named told the Nation.