Did Nanyuki man burn to death minor after defiling her?

Christine granny Florence Nkatha holds the girl's album photo

Photo credit: Mwangi Ndirangu I Nation Media Group

Police in Nanyuki have launched investigations to establish circumstances leading to the death of a 13-year-old girl in a house fire incident amidst claims the minor was defiled before being killed.

The Grade Six pupil at Mt Kenya Primary School died in a residential house inside a church compound in what was initially thought to be a normal fire incident.

But it has now emerged that before her death, the girl was in the company of a 48-year-old man who is the caretaker of Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) Church located at Kabiru village on the outskirts of Nanyuki Town.

It was after this discovery that the girl’s family called on the police to conduct thorough investigations amid suspicions that the church caretaker could have defiled the minor and killed her before setting the house on fire to conceal evidence.

Laikipia County Police Commander John Nyoike confirmed that they are holding a suspect as they await a postmortem to establish the cause of death.

“The suspect who resides in the church compound claimed that he intentionally set the house on fire because there was a thief inside. Further investigations are on as we wait for the postmortem,” Mr Nyoike said. 

On Tuesday, Nation established that the fire only consumed the furniture- two beds and a set of seats. The walls of the house were intact, a pointer that the fire might have started from inside.

It is not yet clear how the girl ended up in the caretaker’s house, some 200 metres from her aunt’s house and her whereabouts and fate remained unknown for 12 hours.

“The caretaker claimed that the person who perished in the fire was a man and hence it never occurred to me that my daughter could be the victim. I called out to my friends and we frantically searched for my missing daughter. I even made a report at Nanyuki Police Station,” the girl’s mother said.

Driven by instincts, the girl’s mother gathered courage and visited the scene of the fire only to stumble upon a piece of stocking and one shoe which her daughter had worn the previous day.

“I knew the clothes and shoes my second-born daughter was wearing on that day, so my worst fears were confirmed when I found the clothes she had been wearing the previous day in the burnt house. I informed the police and the suspect was arrested,” she said.

She said she is still devastated by her daughter’s death inside the compound of the same church she has been attending for seven years.

“My daughter was a faithful member of that church since she was aged six. Every Saturday, she joined other children in cleaning the church ahead of the Sunday service,” she narrated.

The mother said she had accepted the painful loss of her daughter but vowed to fight to the end for justice.

“I have managed to bring up my three children singlehandedly as a casual labourer. I am not appealing for monetary support but what I am asking well-wishers is to help me hire a pathologist so that the truth can be known,” she said.

Pastor Julius Mburung’a in charge of the KAG Church confirmed that the Grade Six Pupil was a committed member of the church.

“I did not know the deceased at a personal level but I recognised her immediately after seeing her photo. As a church, we are also calling on the police to conduct thorough investigations to unravel the truth about her death,” said Pastor Mburung’a.

He said during the fire incident, the church caretaker called him to say that a thief had sneaked into the church compound.