What you need to know:
- Police say it is clear the suspect had intention to kill her and toxicological analysis would reveal more information.
- Ms Tirop’s body was found lying in a pool of blood inside her bedroom on Wednesday last week, a day after she was reported missing.
The prime suspect in the murder of two-time world 10,000 metres bronze medalist Agnes Tirop, Ibrahim Emmanuel Rotich, admitted to killing her before he fled her Iten home.
In a note he left behind, Mr Rotich owned up to killing Ms Tirop, saying their relationship was full of fights, and he had decided to end the life of the athlete.
Keiyo North sub county DCIO Andolo Munga, in an exclusive interview with the Nation yesterday, said detectives had overwhelming evidence against the athlete’s estranged lover and coach.
“The threshold for murder is overwhelming. The autopsy report and the suspect’s confession note, together with the murder weapons -- a knife and a wooden club (rungu), have given us overwhelming evidence, which points to murder,” said the DCIO.
“The athlete had cuts to her head as well as several stabs in the neck. The rungu exerted blunt force trauma, badly damaging her brain, leading to her death.”
Mr Munga said according to the investigation, it was clear the suspect had intention to kill her and toxicological analysis would reveal more information.
“We expect the CCTV report, which is also very crucial in this matter, to be out by tomorrow (Friday) and this will show us if there was anyone else who aided or participated in the murder of the athlete,” he said.
Ms Tirop’s body was found lying in a pool of blood inside her bedroom on Wednesday last week, a day after she was reported missing.
The confession by Mr Rotich corroborates multiple claims by those known to the athlete, including her siblings, that she was a victim of domestic abuse.
Mr Rotich’s parents had told detectives that their son “called while crying, seeking God’s forgiveness, because he had committed a heinous crime”, before the body of the athlete was discovered on Wednesday morning.
Ms Tirop younger sister, Ms Evelyn Jepng’etich, who was living with the athlete, and was with her on Monday night, before she was reported missing, had narrated how she heard a commotion in her sister’s bedroom.
“Not once, but on several occasions, my sister was savagely beaten. Even on the day she returned from the Olympic games, that night she did not sleep, but was wailing the entire night because of the beatings. In the morning her face was swollen and bruised,” she said.
“My sister had confided in me that Rotich was abusing her, but she opened up too late. On Monday night, I heard a loud commotion in my sister’s bedroom before she was discovered dead on Wednesday.”
Athletes who know the couple said they had a strained relationship, and that there was domestic violence, which forced Ms Tirop to seek refuge in her training camp. On Monday last week, she agreed to return to her home after a truce was reached.
“She had not been to her home since she returned from Tokyo Olympics. She had been physically abused and fled to her training camp within Iten. She only came back to her home on Monday last week following arbitration by Mr Rotich’s friends. She was not seen alive again,” claimed an athlete friend of the couple.
“The domestic wrangles were known to the athletics fraternity, only Agnes was putting on a brave face. Rotich was very jealous and protective of her and even during massage sessions, he had given express instructions to the massage therapist on the body parts that should be massaged,” claimed an athlete who is a close friend of the couple.
The athlete’s father, Mr Vincent Tirop, said his daughter was a victim of physical abuse from her lover, whom the family has disowned.
“Let it be known that my daughter was never married to the suspect. I have never met his parents or even received any bride price. What I know is my child was forced to drop out of school while in Form Three and has since been living with him till her untimely demise,” he disclosed.
On Monday, Ms Tirop’s family conducted a cleansing ceremony at her house, then cleaned it, to make it habitable.