An Eldoret court has allowed the police to detain five suspects for 21 days pending investigations into the murder of LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba.
The suspects, including two minors, were arraigned in a court packed by Mr Chiloba's relatives and friends on Monday.
According to the police, the prime suspect is 24-year-old Nairobi-based freelance photographer Jackton Odhiambo.
Preliminary police reports indicated that the activist died from strangulation.
“Apart from the eyes being gouged out, there were no physical injuries on the body, suggesting that the victim might have died out of choking,” said Peter Kimulwa, Uasin Gishu County Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer.
Police were pursuing a betrayal angle in the investigations, with Jackton suspected to have committed the act over jealousy. Jackton is said to have been in a relationship with Chiloba, his close friend, but “felt betrayed” after ending the relationship, Kapsaret sub-county police commander John Odhiambo told Citizen TV recently.
Jackton is suspected to have had the help of his two other friends in the murder, before stashing the body in a metallic box and later dumping the decomposing body along Kapsaret-Kipkenyo road.
Alex Nyamwrya, the caretaker of the house where the two lived on Kimumu estate, said Jackton called on January 4 on plans to vacate the house.
“I received a call on Jan 4 from Chiloba’s mobile phone, but it was his friend Odhiambo on the line informing me that he was vacating the house,” said Mr Nyamweya in a TV interview.
He said when he visited the house, there was a sofa set and Jackton was to clean it before being refunded the deposit. The two, he said, lived together.
Additional report by Barnabas Bii