Kasarani four: How two families fought for one body at city mortuary

Beatrice Nyanchama (centre) mother of Frank Obegi

Beatrice Nyanchama (centre) the mother of Frank Obegi, is condoled by friends at her home in Nyamira on June 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Mystery surrounding the deaths of four friends who were linked to online fraud last week deepened over the weekend after a dispute erupted at the City mortuary over the remains of Elijah Omeka, one of the victims.

And in Nyeri, the family of Perminus Wanjohi at the weekend claimed that the body that had been ferried home from the mortuary in Nairobi was not that of their kin.

The bodies of Frank Obegi, Moses Nyachae and Omeka were discovered in Kijabe forest on June 19 while that of Fred Obare was found in Magadi a day later. Wanjohi’s body was discovered in Kijabe on June 18.

However, when Omeka’s family went to the City mortuary to claim his body on Thursday, it was found to be that of one Joseph Njau Ng’endo. On Saturday, police said Omeka’s body had been found in Machakos County.

A detective said it was mutilated as all his finger nails, toes and legs were chopped off. There were also signs that it had been doused with acid.

Omeka’s wife, Ms Dorothy Makena, had filed a complaint against Obare, alleging that he had conned her of Sh100,000 after selling her a faulty academic writing account.

Living in fear

Ms Makena, who was among the last people who had contacted Obare before his phone was switched off around Kasarani police station, said she was living in fear over what had happened. Ms Makena had asked Obare to accompany her to the station to report about her missing husband.

Obare’s family told police that when he disappeared, he was struggling and had only gone to Juja to seal a deal of selling an academic account.

Obegi’s father, Mr Evans Bowendo, however said that his son had a lot of money and frequently travelled to the Coast, where he would take photos swimming in the ocean.

The deceased had reportedly told his father that he sold air tickets. However, his mother over the weekend told the media that they were in need of the money he was making because the day he went missing he had asked for Sh70.

Aspiring MCA

Njau was an aspiring MCA for Njiru ward and had on several occasions brushed shoulders with the police. In June 2019, he was arrested while in possession of five kilogrammes of heroin.

Detectives claimed he ran a drug syndicate and could easily go undetected because he also fronted himself as an anti-drug abuse campaigner.

 In the 2019 incident, police said Njau had hidden the drugs inside pawpaw fruits.

Police said Njau got his drugs from Kampala from a Nigerian national who was once deported from Kenya after he was found with several kilogrammes of heroin. The case was going on at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport court where he was arraigned.

The Nation has also established that Njau and one Teresiah Njau were embroiled in a property case with Kamuingi Housing Company Limited.

Talks in schools

He conducted talks in various schools within Kasarani Sub-County where he used his story as a cocaine addict to inspire and encourage the youth against drug abuse.

Friends described Njau as very generous and was always willing to assist anyone whenever they were in need.

“Last year during the Christmas festivities, he generously gave out packets of wheat flour and oil to women across the ward,” said one of his supporters.

Until his death, Njau was popular among the youth and women who had nicknamed him ‘Njiru One’.

The Nation has also learnt that Perminus Wanjohi’s body was discovered in Kijabe forest, Lari Constituency, on June 18.

Wanjohi’s father, Mr Samuel Kimondo, said his son was not associated with the other four victims, who lived in Kasarani.

Police, however, said that preliminary investigations through forensics have revealed that the five knew each other and had been communicating.

‘Not a criminal’

“My son was not a criminal. He was a machine operator in Nairobi and he had disappeared a few days ago. Police told us that his last phone signal went off along Jogoo Road in Nairobi,” Mr Kimondo told the Nation at his Nyeri home yesterday.

Wanjohi’s body was found by officers from Lari police station and was booked at City mortuary under admission number 1195.

“Before the three bodies were found on Sunday, we had on Saturday collected Wanjohi’s body and booked it at the mortuary,” Lari Sub-County police commander Adamson Furaha said.

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