Man held over defilement, murder of seven-year-old step-daughter

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The murder of the girl on June 22 has opened up an even more agonising discovery for her family after it was revealed that she had been repeatedly defiled.

Photo credit: File

A family in Dera village, Kilifi North Sub-County, is in shock over the brutal murder of their seven-year-old daughter.

The murder of the girl on June 22 has opened up an even more agonising discovery for her family after it was revealed that she had been repeatedly defiled.

Last week, Kilifi Principal Magistrate Ivy Wasike allowed the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to hold the main suspect, who is the girl’s stepfather for 14 days at the Kilifi Police Station, pending completion of investigations.

The girl and her siblings were living with their stepfather after their mother went to work in Saudi Arabia.

“I was not aware that my daughter-in-law had gone to Saudi Arabia until later when neighbours informed me of the same. I decided to take care of her children,” the child’s paternal step-grandmother, who shares a homestead with her son, the main suspect.

On the fateful day, she said she left in the morning to join other relatives to pick up the body of her aunt from Kilifi County Referral Hospital Mortuary leaving behind her three grandchildren.

“I prepared breakfast for them in the morning, none of them was sick or complained of having a headache,” she said.

Back from the mortuary

On her way back from the mortuary, she met the brother of the deceased sitting with his little sibling sobbing by the roadside.

The boy told her that their father had beaten his sister before he went to the relative’s burial and she was lying on the floor in their house.

The brother alleged that after beating the sister to death, their father went ahead to bury her body in the maize crop field behind their house, but later removed and returned it to the house.

She said the body was on the floor, full of soil adding there were indications she had vomited before her death.

“I am confused why my son had to kill his child,” she said.

The deceased’s maternal grandfather mourned his second granddaughter: “She died a painful death. I am hurt that…she died hopelessly since we could not save her.”

He disclosed that the postmortem conducted on Wednesday last week at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital Mortuary confirmed that the girl succumbed to severe head injuries.

The post-mortem also revealed the girl had been defiled several times.

"My granddaughter died a painful death, she had head injuries and a fractured skull with blood clots in the brain. Both of her hands had blood clots…she was beaten to death," he added.

Subjected to DNA

The pathologist took some samples to be subjected to DNA. The girl was buried on Thursday at her maternal grandfather’s home in Kaloleni.

Kilifi-North Sub-County Police Commander Kenneth Maina said they are investigating reports that the stepfather beat up the girl for allegedly stealing Sh1,700.

“We received a call at 6pm but on arrival, we found the body lying on the floor with visible body injuries,” Mr Maina said.

The aunt of the deceased said she was worried from the start about the child being under the care of her stepfather.

She said that after talking to her sister, they had plans to pick up the girl on Wednesday last week to stay with her in Mombasa. But unfortunately, she was murdered before the plan materialised.

The investigative officer Police Constable Nelson Shamunge told the court that detectives needed more time to take the suspect for mental examination and conduct a DNA examination before presenting to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for further direction.