A 26-year-old woman was strangled by a boyfriend on their first date last month.
Lydia Nyaboke Onano, who was staying with her younger brother in Ngara, Nairobi, was reportedly meeting her boyfriend for the first time and had promised to be back before the end of the day.
By around 6pm, however, she had not returned home, according to her younger brother Japheth Onono. Her brother became worried and called her.
“She told me she was in Ngong and may not come back home. I then asked her for money to buy dinner, which she promised to send in the next five minutes,” Onono recalled the events of July 23.
The money was never sent, prompting the brother to make another call. The phone had gone off. His fears were compounded by the fact that the sister, who worked as an M-Pesa attendant, had told him it was the first date.
Lydia’s brother called his mother Irene Mogeni in Nyamira County and informed her that he could not trace Lydia. The mother advised him to be patient, saying perhaps her phone’s battery had gone low.
“Just days before she disappeared, she used to talk for long hours on phone with someone. Out of curiosity, I asked her who it was, and she told me it was a new boyfriend. So on that Sunday, she was going to meet him for the first time,” said Japheth, a second-year electrical engineering student at Technical University of Kenya .
By Monday morning, she had not been found. On the third day, Onono went to Pangani Police Station to report that his sister was missing. The police advised him to report in Ngong where her sister communicated from last.
However, last Friday, the sad reality sank when officers from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit called him.
The police said they had arrested a suspect who had owned up to murdering his sister and dumping the body in Ngong forest, near Lenana School.
According to the police, the body of an unknown woman had been found there and taken to City Mortuary.
The confession of the suspect and the report in the police occurrence book at Mutuini Police Post prompted the detectives to call the family.
The police then accompanied Japheth to City Mortuary where he positively identified the body.
Lydia’s father Zachariah Mogeni Onono and mother Irene were called to Nairobi on Sunday and they also helped to identify the body yesterday. A postmortem report indicated Lydia died from strangulation.
Richard Nyakina, the suspect, told investigators that he had known Lydia for over a year and he killed her for allegedly cheating on him.
He told the detectives that on the fateful day, Lydia received a call from another man who was referring to her as ‘sweetie’ and upon demanding to know who the caller was, an argument ensued.
Tourist Swiss couple murdered in Mombasa
He then hit her on the head and later used her bra, blouse and shoe laces to strangle her to death.
He has contradicted the family’s assertion that they had met for the first time.
The suspect was arrested last Thursday in Gucha, Kisii County.
The police traced Lydia’s phone to a Form Four student to whom the suspect had sold the phone.
The student then took the police to a barber’s shop in Mukuru where they found the suspect.
It turned out that the barber shop was owned by the suspect’s relative, who led the police to his rural home.
Yesterday, police presented Nyakina at Milimani law courts and asked for five more days before they formally charge him with murder.
The police are also checking reports that Nyakina had been charged earlier with rape and was out on bond.
Man sentenced to die for killing his parents