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Police investigate death of German tourist in Malindi

Wednesday January 29 2020

German tourist murdered

Police officers on January 28, 2020 pick the body of a German tourist who was found murdered in his hotel room at Moriema Cottages in Malindi, Kilifi County. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

CHARLES LWANGA
By CHARLES LWANGA
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Police in Malindi are investigating the killing of a German tourist in his hotel room.

The body of the tourist, identified as 75-year-old Herman Detering, was found lying in a pool of blood in his room at Moriema Cottages in Malindi where he has been staying since December 4, 2019.

When journalists arrived at the hotel Wednesday morning, police led by the Malindi Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss had already secured the crime scene.

The victim’s body was lying on the floor near the bed covered with sheets and clothes and had deep cuts. There were also blood stains on the bed, floor and wall.

NO WEAPON FOUND

Police suspect the killer might have hidden or escaped with the murder weapon.

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Mr Ken Kazungu, the Moriema Cottages manager and night receptionist, said they suspect the tourist was killed by his girlfriend after spending time with him at the hotel until around midnight last Monday.

“We discovered the lifeless body on Monday evening after the guest failed to open his room for cleaning. He has been waking up at around 8am daily to swim before doing anything else," Mr Kazungu said.

On the day when Mr Detering met his death, Mr Kazungu said, he spent the day with a young African lady, whom he had been staying with, drinking beer until around 1pm.

POOL OF BLOOD

"The two seemed happy and went to bed together late at night. We never suspected anything fishy until in the evening when one of the workers peeped through the window after he failed to show up and saw him lying in a pool of blood," Mr Kazungu said.

Mr Kazungu, who was at the reception desk, and the security guard said they did not hear any noise or commotion and did not even see the woman leaving the hotel.

Mr Kazungu said the tourist never left keys to his room at the reception. A steward had knocked on the door at 10am with the aim of cleaning the room but it was locked. He became suspicious after Mr Detering failed to open the door during the day.

“After peeping through the window, he saw him lying in a pool of blood. I reported the incident to Malindi Police Station. Police used a spare key to open the door because the other key could not be traced. It appears the young girl who was with him escaped with the key after locking him inside,” he said.

THROAT PROBLEM

Mr Alexander Kazungu, the swimming pool attendant, said the tourist had a throat problem and was unable to talk in a loud voice.

The body was taken to Malindi Sub-County Hospital mortuary as police launched investigations into the death.

Malindi Sub-County Police Commander Vitalis Otieno said they were looking for the woman who had been staying with the tourist.

"We are treating her as a suspect as investigations continue," he said.

"The tourist has visited Malindi and Ukunda in the past and it was not his first time to visit Moriema Cottages," Mr Otieno said.