Police pursue two leads into ex-tea director’s killing

Mourners during the burial of Mr Murigu in Kamucheru village, Nyeri County on October 13, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mathira East Police boss James Barasa said investigations have ruled out robbery as the reason for the killing.
  • Mr Murigu went missing on September 30 and his body retrieved from the river on October 6.
  • Police also want to know if he was killed because of his previous job or family disputes.
  • Mr Murigu retired as a director of Ragati factory two months ago after serving for seven years.

Police are investigating two theories as the motive for the murder of a former director of a tea factory, whose body was found a week ago in River Sagana, Nyeri County.  

A post-mortem days ago showed Mr Wilfred Murigu, former director of Ragati Tea Factory, died from a blunt force trauma.

Mathira East Police Commander James Barasa said investigations have ruled out robbery as the reason for the killing, adding that Mr Murigu’s personal effects were not taken. 

“A post-mortem was conducted on Monday and it shows Mr Murigu was murdered,” Mr Barasa said Tuesday.

“We can tell that this was not a robbery but we are still investigating to establish the actual motive of the killing.”

Police also want to know if Mr Murigu, who went missing on September 30 and his body retrieved from the river on October 6, was killed because of his previous job or family disputes.

Detectives are believed to have turned their focus on Mr Murigu’s influential tenure in the troubled tea industry.

Mr Murigu retired as a director of Ragati factory two months ago after serving for seven years.

The Nation has learnt that though he had been ailing, Mr Murigu had unsuccessfully sought re-election.

Family wrangles

Another lead police are reportedly following is whether family wrangles had anything to do with the killing.

The deceased was an elder in the Mukunga clan and head of the Murigu family, which is one of the most influential households in Mathira constituency.

He ran several businesses, owned vast tea estates and other property in Mathira.

Police say no suspect has been arrested in connection with the brutal killing but several of Mr Murigu’s relatives are being sought for questioning.

Mr Murigu left his homestead in Kiamucheru on September 30 never to be seen alive again.

Relatives say he had gone for a check-up at Karatina Sub-County Hospital.

A day after Mr Murigu’s disappearance, his vehicle was found abandoned 10 kilometres from Karatina town near Gatiki bridge on the Karatina-Mukurweini road.

Cell phone signal

A jacket he is reported to have been wearing on the day he disappeared and his personal documents were also found.

Mr Murigu’s mobile phone was, however, missing.

Police managed to triangulate the last cell signal from his phone to Mwea in Kirinyaga County.

Police decline to reveal details of the ongoing investigations that were taken over by homicide detectives yesterday.

The detectives are working to piece up Mr Murigu’s last movements.

They are banking on phone data records to uncover their next leads.

“We are working to have the phone data analysed. I cannot say more about the progress of the investigation at this time because we would not want it to be compromised,” Mr Barasa said.

Mr Murigu, 60, was buried at his Kiamucheru farm in Mathira East Tuesday.


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