Suspect in the dock for triple murders committed 15 years ago

Serial killer

Mr Duncan Muriithi when he appeared at Githongo law courts, Imenti Central on February 13, 2023. He is alleged to have killed three members of his family between 2007 and 2022 over a land dispute.

Photo credit: Gitonga Marete I Nation Media Group

He sat calmly in the dock, listening to the proceedings. When the investigating officer, Mr Joshua Sila, asked Githongo Senior Principal Magistrate Susan Ndegwa for 20 more days to hold him in custody while investigating his alleged crimes, the suspect said it was okay.

Mr Duncan Muriithi, 46, is a suspected serial killer with crimes he is alleged to have committed dating back 15 years.

Mr Muriithi is alleged to have killed his brother John Mugao, and later, his sister-in-law.

The family has been engaged in a tussle over a piece of land for some time now, which is said to be the motive of the killings.

Mugao was killed in December 2007 after a family meeting, while his wife, Mary Kambura, was killed two years later under unclear circumstances.

Mr Muriithi was arrested over the killings, but he was released for lack of evidence.

In 2015, his mother Elizabeth Nkimu was lured to Kwale County, where she disappeared.

Elizabeth Nkimu

Elizabeth Nkimu who disappeared in 2015 and has never been traced.

Photo credit: Courtesy

“He narrated to us a wild story of how our mother disappeared in the forest. Since then, we have not heard of her, and we are still tormented because at one time, he started advancing a theory that she might have been eaten by wild animals. Although we have no evidence to link him to her disappearance, we suspect he is responsible,” a source in the family said.

On December 30, 2022, Mr Muriithi's elder sister Naomi Njagi was killed in a raid on her home at Kariene, Imenti Central.

A relative who was in the house on the day Njagi was killed said the suspect raided the home with one other person and attacked them. “I was in the house, and I heard her scream outside. I ran out through another door shouting and by the time neighbours came, they had killed her and vanished into the darkness,” said the relative.

On Monday when Mr Sila asked the magistrate for more time to carry out the investigations, he said Mr Muriithi, together with another suspect who is on the run, raided Njagi’s home and attacked her.

“The assailants were armed with bows, arrows and other crude weapons and attacked the victim, killing her on the spot,” Mr Sila said. The suspect was smoked out by police from his hideout in Kwale on February 10, 2023.

As investigators look into the killings, the mystery they will be seeking to unravel is, is the suspect behind his own mother’s disappearance and possible killing? Did he kill Kambura to conceal evidence of the death of her husband? What was the nature of investigations that led to his release when he was arrested in connection to the earlier crimes?

Naomi Njagi

Naomi Njagi who was killed on December 30, 2022.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Mr Sila said during the 20 days the suspect will be held at Kariene police station in Imenti Central, detectives will record statements from witnesses to help them unravel the mystery.

The case will be mentioned on March 6 for further directions.