Leilah Truphena and Eric Maina

Leilah Truphena and Eric Maina alias Mpole, who were found murdered at their house in Umoja estate.

| Pool

Who killed this young couple?

What you need to know:

  • It is suspected the couple was killed by people who entered the flat on Friday night. 
  • A neighbour who sought anonymity told the Nation that they heard shouts and screams.

For a young couple that seemed like it was enjoying life to the fullest, Eric Maina alias Mpole, and his girlfriend Leilah Truphena had a lifestyle that fellow 18-year-olds from the capital’s Umoja estate can only dream of.

Despite having no known jobs or sources of income, the couple lived in a two-bedroom, well-furnished flat on the fourth floor of a new apartment block in Zone eight of the expansive estate. They always played loud music and were friendly with their neighbours.

They even had a YouTube page -- The Mlepos, derived by reversing Maina’s street name -- where they posted about their lives. Maina had always dreamt of being a musician and had uploaded a few of his songs as well as some videos with his girlfriend on the YouTube channel, although the numbers were still low.

But on Saturday morning, the flat, which was always teeming with youngsters, was silent. 

The caretaker of the flats called Maina’s guardian -- a native of the Seychelles, who also lives in the neighbourhood, and who is believed to have been financing the couple’s lifestyle. The information was escalated to the police, who went to the house, only to find the worst -- Maina and Leilah were dead, multiple stab wounds on their bodies.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said there were signs of a struggle in the living room, with blood across the corridor leading to the restroom and the bedroom.

By the toilet lay the body of the young woman in a pool of blood. She had stab wounds on the shoulder, chest and lower abdomen, and her hands were tied at the back with a piece of cloth. Maina’s body was in the bedroom. A cable, which the police suspect was used to strangle him, was found around his neck. 

Umoja estate

A house in Umoja estate in Nairobi where Leilah Truphena and Eric Maina were found killed by unknown people.

Photo credit: Evan Habil | Nation Media Group

It is suspected the couple was killed by people who entered the flat on Friday night. 

Missing from the flat was a 43-inch TV set, two laptops, a music system and the victims’ mobile phones.

Neighbours and the guard at the flats said they did not see anything unusual on Friday night, apart from hearing what sounded like an argument.

A neighbour who sought anonymity told the Nation that they heard shouts and screams “which did not last for long” on Friday night and they did not see the need to investigate further. 

However, they knew something was amiss when they did not hear music coming from the couple’s house on Saturday. The young man is said to have been an artiste who loved music and always played it loudly on his home theatre. 

By Saturday afternoon, a foul smell, which was at first mistaken for garbage, filled the entire fourth floor.

By Sunday, the smell had morphed into a stench, and the tenants called their landlord, informing him that they suspected someone had died in the locked house.

Crucial leads

“The landlord told us that he would inform Mlepo’s step-father and the police. The next day (Monday), the police came and that is when they found the two bodies,” the couple’s next-door neighbour told the Nation.

Neighbours interviewed by the Nation described the couple as friendly people who always greeted them whenever they met and they had several friends who constantly visited them at their house. 

The couple’s latest video was uploaded a fortnight ago and had more than 1,000 views by yesterday. Most of the viewers mourned the couple and condoled with their families in the comments section.

Investigators processed the scene for crucial leads and secured exhibits that they hope will help them to unravel the murder. 

The bodies were taken to the City Mortuary, awaiting post-mortems, with a family member telling the Nation that they were waiting for files from the Buru Buru police station. 

“We are very pained as a family. We are yet to come to terms with what has occurred and we are hoping to hear more from the police. We want them to do their investigations and find out the root of this matter,” the relative said. 

Questioned on whether the family had any enemies who could have orchestrated the heinous act, the family member opted not to comment and said the police were already working on the case and they would let them do their work. 


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