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Police arrest woman over tourist's murder

Friday January 31 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 | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

CHARLES LWANGA
By CHARLES LWANGA
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Police have arrested a woman suspected to be at the centre of the murder of a German tourist, 75-year-old Herman Detering, in Malindi two days ago.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti said the prime suspect, Mary Mwimali Kavua, is being held over the brutal killing.

She was arrested at a bar in Diani, Ukunda, in Kwale County, where she is said to have escaped to after allegedly killing the German tourist.

By last evening, detectives were interrogating her in connection with the crime.

On Wednesday, Mr Detering's body was found lying in a pool of blood in his room at Moriema Cottages where he had been living since December 4 last year.

When journalists arrived at the hotel, police led by the Malindi DCI boss had already secured the crime scene.

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

Police initially said the killer must have hidden or escaped with the murder weapon after they failed to find it at the crime scene and within the hotel.

Ken Kazungu, the Moriema Cottages manager and night receptionist, said they suspected the tourist was killed by his girlfriend after spending time with him late into the night.

“We discovered the lifeless body on Monday evening after the guest failed to open his room for cleaning as usual,” he said.

On the day Mr Detering met his death, Mr Kazungu said, the tourist spent the day with a young African lady who has been his girlfriend. They had been drinking beer until around 1am.

"The two seemed happy and went to bed together late at night," he said.

The following day, however, a hotel worker peeped through the window, after the tourist failed to show up, and saw his body lying in a pool of blood.

Hotel staff, including the security guard, said they did not see the woman leave or hear any commotion on the fateful day.

"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 it after locking him inside,” he said.

The body is currently at the Malindi Sub-County Hospital mortuary as police look into the matter.