Fridah Warau Kamuyu, 22, who died on January 17 in Kiambu County’s Titanic dam, was almost cut off from her relatives.
As she lay dead in the mortuary for nine days, none of her relatives or friends noticed she was missing. No missing person’s report was made, and in the end, it is detectives who went looking for her parents to identify her body in the mortuary.
Fridah died alongside Tirus Maina Gikonyo in his vehicle when it slid into the water.
Maina was quickly identified by his family members from his vehicle registration, and the police investigators were able to establish that he was a consultant and supplier in the building industry, both locally and in Africa.
His file at Juja Police station indicates that he was born in 1984 in Nyeri County as the third-born son of the late Joseph Gikonyo and Madrin Wangui.
As for Fridah, she would be identified on January 26. Detectives traced her home to Murang’a County’s Njiku village in Mathioya constituency, although her parents live in Nairobi.
Such a tragedy happening to such a young person would normally elicit activity on social media, but for Fridah, everything around her was as silent as a tomb.
Information in her file at Juja police station starts by classifying her on January 18 as “an unidentified adult African female recovered from a water body in a drowning accident”.
The incident's notes indicate that she had no identification document on her, classifying her case as Pending Under Investigations (PUI).
Delay in tracing relatives
After her body was retrieved from the dam, scene-of-crime detectives took her fingerprints, which would later be scanned for identification at the Registrar of Persons after it was noted there was a delay in getting anyone to positively identify her.
Her incident file indicates in the preliminary report that “lack of documents on her complicated identification process and it was only through prints imaging that it was possible to profile her bio, leading to contacting her relatives”.
The relatives showed up at the City Mortuary, Nairobi, on Thursday, January 26, and positively identified her, allowing the detectives to have a post-mortem done.
It showed Fridah died of drowning. She also had bruises on her left wrist.
Police say she is the second-born in a family of four and holds a diploma in hospitality from a Kiambu college from which she graduated last November.
The file further indicates that while schooling in Thika, she had grown detached from her close relatives.
She ran a money transfer agency in Thika town “and also did some socialite gigs in the town and in the process hooked up with the male friend with whom she died”.
Maina had got her a rented house in Makongeni estate on the outskirts of Thika town, and it is reported they had been seeing each other for four months.
One of her close male friends from Makongeni said she was planning to leave the country “for greener pastures”.
While the two have been identified and post-mortems, as well as witness statements, have ruled out foul play, Kiambu County criminal investigations boss Richard Mwaura said detectives will now seek to unravel whether the drowning was an accident.
“Mechanical analysis of the vehicle, state of the bodies as recovered, analysis of autopsies, toxicology reports to ascertain chemical concentrations and sound deductions from correlated deductions will give us a file closure or escalation position,” he said.