Jane Mwende: Body of missing Mlolongo hairdresser found in pit latrine

The late Jane Mwende.

Photo credit: Courtesy

A hairdresser who mysteriously disappeared from her workplace in Mlolongo two weeks ago has been found dead.

Detectives found the decomposing body of Jane Mwende in a pit latrine in the busy township on Tuesday.

"We found and recovered the body. It was dumped in a pit latrine in the busy township," Machakos County Police Commander Patrick Lobolia told the Nation after the discovery.

Mwende, 28, worked at a popular salon in the busy township until two weeks ago, when she left after reportedly receiving a phone call. Her colleagues were worried when she did not return. They were shocked when they realised she could not be reached on the phone as it had been switched off.

The discovery of the body ended a two-week search that saw her friends and relatives visit major hospitals and mortuaries across the country.

Dozens of Mlolongo residents, including Mwende's relatives and friends, witnessed the recovery of the body by a team of Machakos County government officials and police.

"Our search mission has ended today following the discovery and recovery of the body. We have confirmed that it is indeed our daughter's body," said Muithya Mutuku, who identified himself as a close relative of the deceased.

"We thank the Mlolongo community for joining us in the search mission and the officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation for helping us to find and recover the body."

The body was found in a pit latrine near the rented house of one of the main suspects, the Nation understands. 

"The investigation is still ongoing. We have already narrowed it down to three women who we are treating as the main suspects. We have arrested two of them. The third fled to Mombasa. We are still pursuing her. They will be charged with murder," said Mr Lobolia.

According to detectives involved in the case, the arrest of a couple on Sunday signalled a major breakthrough in the case. The head of detectives at Mlolongo police station, George Kamau, said the arrest of January Musau and his wife had made the search easier.

"We have been studying the call logs of their phones for crucial clues. They have been helping us with the investigation," he told the Nation in an interview at his office on Monday.

Initial investigations by detectives revealed that Mwende's disappearance was linked to an alleged love affair with a married man. 

Hours after the first arrests were made, it was clear that she had been killed. 

On Monday, some of the detectives involved in the case met some of Mwende's relatives and friends and told them to prepare for the worst.

Detectives arrested a second woman and a taxi driver believed to have been hired by the killers to transport the body.

The search for the body has taken detectives to Kajiado and Makueni counties amid speculation that the body may have been dumped in the forests there.