On January 3, the badly decomposed body of Maureen Monchari was discovered in her apartment at Kenyenya in Kisii County. The body had been lying on the kitchen floor for more than a week. She was naked.
Circumstances around the death of the young woman and how her body was undiscovered for more than a week remain a mystery while her family suspects foul play.
A close family friend described the scene as “dreadful” her face as “unrecognisable” and the stench as “intolerable”. Several mortuaries in the area refused to admit the comprehensively disintegrated body.
Ms Monchari, fondly known as “Moh” among her friends, had spent the day with her family on Christmas Day at their home in Kisii. After the celebrations, she went back to her house.
Nothing would be heard of from the 28-year-old teacher at Kenyoro PAG Secondary School in Kenyanya until her rotten body was discovered nine days later.
Moh was strangled to death, according to the report from the autopsy performed at Kisii Level Five Hospital mortuary. She had also suffered injuries on her head and neck.
Friends say Moh was a bubbly woman who loved to party and her house was always humming with activity as friends came and left. Some would even sleep over.
Who killed Moh and why? Whether there was negligence on the part of people she trusted, or whether any of them knew something about her mysterious death are some of the hard questions that her family is asking as detectives in Kisii County rack their brains to piece together this puzzle.
More perplexing is a suicide note found beside Moh’s body. A friend who read the note dismissed it, citing “poor grammar and bad handwriting”.
“Moh was a teacher, so there is no way that note was written by her. She loved literature and would often share her work on social media. I have read her diary many times and know her handwriting,” said *Nelly, another close friend.
If this was an attempt at an alibi, it had certainly flopped. For three years, Moh endured an abusive relationship with the prime suspect in the death, a man called Innocent Sokoro, who friends say physically assaulted her. The pair is said to have had frequent fights.
“I had warned her about him after he assaulted her on multiple occasions. They had broken up for a year in 2017. I later learnt they had got back together in December last year. She did not seem to want me to know about it,” said *Margaret, a close friend. That was a day before Moh met her death.
*Nelly, another of her friends, described Sokoro as a “creepy and mysterious man”. Nelly said that Mr Sokoro borrowed money from her for his upkeep occasionally, While she would reprimand him for wastage, she always succumbed to his pleas.
“One time she had to take a Sh400,000 loan for him, but he never paid back the money,” Nelly told the Nation. Yet, somehow, Moh kept lending him more.
“Sokoro was staying with his parents because he said he did not have his own house. He would show up unannounced at Moh’s place and even sleep over. He claimed he was an engineer at Kenya Power but I doubted him,” said Margaret, saying that they suspected he had a family.
Curiously, Mr Sokoro, said to be in his late 30s, never introduced Moh to his family during the three years they dated. Whenever Moh asked him to meet her family instead, he would become hostile, friends say.
It has since been established that Mr Sokoro has never worked at KPLC in any capacity. The man has since went into hiding.
Quite unusually, Mr Sokoro had called Moh’s sister, who did not wish to be named for this story because of personal safety, and asked her to check on her, saying he had been trying to call her phone without success. She dismissed him, saying her sister would be fine.
It was after her friends kept calling called her that she became alarmed. She finally gave in and sent her cousin who found Moh’s decomposing body.
Detectives are still analysing material collected from the scene, according to Kenyenya OCPD Isaac Thuranira, who also confirmed to Saturday Nation that several people have recorded statements.
“Initially we thought she had committed suicide, but the post-mortem revealed injuries on her neck and head. We are now suspecting murder,” Mr Thuranira said.
No arrests have been made so far, a week after Moh was buried. Neighbours say that Moh hardly engaged them and that she would lock herself up when she did not have guests to entertain.
“When I did not see her for a week, I did not suspect anything amiss. The schools were closed for the holidays and I assumed she had travelled,” a neighbour who did not wish to be named told Saturday Nation.