A boda boda rider accused of secretly killing his friend and dumping his body in a septic tank in a suspected ritual sacrifice has been arrested in Kirinyaga County.
He was flushed out of his hideout in Nanyuki and taken to the Wang'uru Police Station for questioning.
Confirming the arrest, Kirinyaga County Police Commander Mathew Mang'ira said the suspect, who is also a stonemason, will face a murder charge after investigations are completed.
“We are holding the suspect and very soon he will be arraigned in court," he said.
Stephen Murimi, 31, was killed and his body thrown into the septic tank at the suspect’s home Murinduko village. The tank was then covered with soil possibly to cover up the evidence.
On Thursday last week, a sombre mood engulfed the village as police pulled out the body from the tank.
The victim was neatly wrapped in a bedsheet, raising suspicion that he was hacked to death as he slept in the suspect’s house.
Items belonging to Murimi were found in a bedroom, including a pair of shoes, a jacket and underwear.
Murimi’s family said he was lured to his death the previous week.
They said Murimi was working as a waiter in Chuka when the suspect called him last Friday and asked him to resign and return home so that the two could together venture into the beer business, which supposedly pays more.
He reportedly lied to an unsuspecting Murimi that he had acquired a lot of money and had even bought a personal car. The suspect promised to give Murimi his motorcycle so that he could use it for the proposed business.
Impressed by the idea, Murimi set out to meet the suspect, unaware that a death trap had been set for him.
On arrival, Murimi alerted family members, who live in the neighbouring Kirogo village, that he was at his friend's home and that he would visit them soon.
Family members became suspicious when Murimi failed to show up as he had pledged, and on Thursday they decided to check on him at the suspect's house but he was not there.
They asked the suspect to disclose Murimi’s whereabouts but he declined and took off.
Shocked, the family reported the matter to the members of Nyumba Kumi, who started looking for Murimi in the suspect’s compound.
They spotted fresh soil on the septic tank and called in the police.
The police found a body inside and pulled it out as family members and hundreds of residents and watched in disbelief.
"Before the gruesome killing, the suspect and the victim were bosom buddies and they used to visit each other often," said David Njeru, an uncle of Murimi.
Residents believed the suspect was a member of a cult and that he could have sacrificed his friend to please the spirits of his gods.
"The suspect's lifestyle had suddenly changed. He had been living a luxurious life in his posh home and we suspect he had joined a cult, which forced him to get rid of his friend as a ritual," one resident said.