A college student committed suicide after a foreigner lured her through Facebook and assaulted her, the family revealed on Monday, ending two weeks of silence.
Ms Mercy Bundi, 19, left a suicide note in which she named the man and gave details of where he assaulted her and why she took her life.
“The day we met was the day my problems started. He was not the man I knew on Facebook,” Mercy said in her suicide note.
She said she was traumatised after the man, who identified himself to her as Marco Ritz, threatened to post her naked photos online for the whole world to see.
“He took my nude pics and told me if I say (sic) this to anyone he will sell them on the internet and say I am a prostitute,” she wrote.
Mercy was too afraid to wait for that moment. On September 12, she was found dead in her bed, a bottle of poison by her side. Her Sh3,190, the suicide note and her phone were all by her side.
Although she was born in Tanzania, she attended primary school in Kisii, joining Nyakach Girls High School but later transferring to St Michael’s School in Nakuru where she sat her KCSE exams in 2013. This year, she joined Bugema University in Uganda, where she died.
Police are investigating the incident amid reports that there is an increase in insidious crimes that have left thousands of Kenyans suffering in silence.
Mercy joined the Facebook page, “Love beyond skin colour (white men and black women)”, where she met Marco.
On September 9, he travelled to Kenya and sent money to Mercy, who was then in Kampala. Marco had claimed that he was from Trittenheim but lived in Berlicht, Germany.
Mercy’s sister, Ms Sarah Mauya Bundi, on Monday told the Nation that Mercy had travelled to Mombasa and met Marco there.
She said she had warned Mercy against meeting the man and, in her suicide note, Mercy said she regretted not listening to her sister.
“As I am writing this, I cannot sit, eat or walk as normal. I am regretting not to listen to my sisters (sic),” says the note.
On the day Mercy travelled to Mombasa, Marco posted a photo on Facebook, indicating that he was at the Kinondo Poa Hotel, near the Galu Kinondo Beach.
On Monday, an assistant director at the hotel, Ms Laura Nanyuli, said Marco had been to the hotel twice — in April and September this year — with a woman whom he described as a lawyer and model. On his last visit, she said, Marco did not spend the night in the hotel.
On September 11, Mercy travelled to Nairobi and spent a night in her sister’s house in Embakasi. She could hardly walk and was in pain but when asked what was the problem, she told her sister that she was having a bad dream.
In her suicide note, however, she revealed that she was sexually assaulted for two days at a Mombasa hotel.
After she travelled back to Kampala, she tried to contact Marco so that he could help her pay for treatment, in vain.
“I have tried to contact him for help to treat myself, he has blocked me in everywhere. I cannot face my sister and tell them I must rest because of him (sic),” says the suicide note.
After her family was informed of her death, they flew the body to Nairobi on September 14 and reported the matter at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport police station. They also gave police a photo of the suspect, hoping that he would be arrested before he could leave the country. He wasn’t.