Why family of policeman found dead in US hotel will wait longer for autopsy results

Walter Nyankieya Nyamato

Chief Inspector Walter Nyankieya Nyamato.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Sleuths from the Metropolitan Police have taken over investigations into the sudden death of a man whose lifeless body was discovered in a hotel room
  • The family was informed by the Washington Police that updates into the death of their kin will be channeled to the Kenyan Embassy

The family of the late police officer Walter Nyankieya Nyamato who died in the United States is yet to know what killed him.

Advance team

The deceased, who served as an Inspector of Police, and nine other police officers were on an official trip as an advance team on a reconnaissance mission ahead of the intended controversial deployment of 1,000 police officers to Haiti. 

Sleuths from the Metropolitan Police have taken over investigations into the sudden death of a man whose lifeless body was discovered in a hotel room a day after their arrival in Washington DC. 

Government to Government arrangement 

"I had instructed his brother, Wycliffe, who lives in Minnesota, to travel to DC, view his body and fetch for us the autopsy results but the police told him that they couldn't view the body nor get the autopsy results since it was a Government - to - government (G to G) arrangement, " said the deceased's father Philip Nyamato Obwaya. 

Accordingly, the family was informed by the Washington Police that updates into the death of their kin will be channeled to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington.

The Nation visited the home in Nyatieko village, Keroka, Masaba North, Nyamira County on Friday and the anxiety and sorrow was palpable. 

On the morning that the police inspector was discovered dead, they were to congregate for breakfast only for him not to show up.

Break into his room 

It took the intervention of the hotel management to break into his room after he failed to respond to knocks on his door.

The lifeless body of the 40-year-old was reportedly found on bed while lying on his belly.

Mr Obwaya noted that his son had no medical condition known to them and that he had always been in good health. 

Proceed to Haiti

The father of the deceased explained that from Washington DC, the nine officers would proceed to Haiti where the government of Kenya has been seeking agreements to enable the intended deployment.

"They are the (police) bosses and my son had informed me that they were going to lay agreements with those in Haiti so that, later, the other 1,000 officers that the court had barred from being deployed could go," said the deceased's father, Mr Obwaya. 

According to the family, the deceased was the Personal Assistant to the Deputy Inspector of Police Noor Gabow, based at Jogoo House in Nairobi. 

Third trip

It was the third trip that the late was making to Haiti, the family said. 

"This time, Gabow did not travel with them. It seems it was him (the deceased) who was given the troop to lead," he reported.

Unlike the family's assertion that their kin was on a reconnaissance mission to Haiti, Mr Gabow gave a contradicting account, noting that the 10 officers were in the United States for a seminar. 

Blocked by the High Court

Plans for Kenya to lead an UN-approved international security mission to Haiti were blocked by the High Court in Nairobi last month, but President William Ruto said the government would forge ahead with the deployment.

The international force is aimed at tackling rampant gang violence in the Caribbean nation, which killed nearly 5,000 people last year, and is due to be initially financed by the United States.

The mission was thrown into doubt after the High court ruled that it would be unconstitutional to deploy police officers abroad unless there was a "reciprocal arrangement" in place with the host government.

President Ruto said Haiti had asked for help months ago, and he expected a request would come shortly that would satisfy demands of the court.

"So that mission can go ahead as soon as next week, if all the paperwork is done between Kenya and Haiti on the bilateral route that has been suggested by the court," President Ruto said during the Italian-Africa summit in Rome.

Asked if discussions were underway with Haiti to get the necessary request, the president said: "Absolutely. Haiti have actually written formally".

Senior government officials 

On Wednesday, the Nation spotted senior government officials at the homestead of the deceased's father.

They included the Nyamira County AP Commander and Masaba North Sub County AP Commander Rodgers Wakoli.

According to the father of the deceased, the government officials had toured his home to confirm to the family of the death of their son and to deliver their condolences. 

"The county AP Commander told us that he had been told on the phone that my son who was a personal assistant to Gabow, was dead," said Mr Obwaya. 

For the two instances that he traveled and came back, he would tell us that they would land back in the country and head straight to brief President William Ruto, he said.

"My son had all the information in his computer that he would give to the president about their agreements with Haiti. This time around he told us that they would sojourn in Washington for two to three days before proceeding to Haiti," he said. 

Father of two 

The father-of-two has been mourned by family and villagers as a cooperative member of the community who never failed to contribute in harambees. 

The deceased joined the police service in 2007, giving him 16 years of experience.

His father noted that his son was not sick at the time of travel and that they had even talked with him on the phone a few hours before they boarded a plane to Washington.

"His mother called him on the phone at 9pm last Friday and he said that he was at the Airport waiting to board a plane at 12am. My son had no problem with his health that I know of," he said.

Initially, ahead of the Friday travel, the family had asked him to travel home in Nyamira to say goodbye the way he had done during the two previous travels but he declined noting that there was a lot of work and that time was limited.

"While at the airport, we prayed for God to grant them journey mercies," recounted the father.

Minnesota based brother 

The father noted that the deceased was set to meet his Minnesota based brother on Wednesday but that never came to be.

"My Minnesota-based son confirmed that his brother had phoned him that he had arrived safely in Washington and that they had planned to meet on Wednesday,” he said.