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Suspect in Murang'a prison warder's murder attempts suicide

Friday May 17 2019

Pauline Wangari murder suspects

Joseph Otieno Ochieng, Lodgers Namkuro and Mary Amollo, suspects in the murder of Murang'a GK Prison warder Pauline Wangari, at the Murang'a Law Courts on May 17, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NDUNG'U GACHANE
By NDUNG'U GACHANE
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Joseph Otieno Ochieng, the main suspect in the murder of Murang'a prison warder Pauline Wangari, attempted suicide as police searched his rental house in Buruburu, Nairobi County, on Friday.

Muranga County Commander Josephat Kinyua said Mr Ochieng escorted them to the house after they obtained a search warrant.

Mr Kinyua said the suspect lived in that house with his parents and that they went there to look for the TV and laptop that were stolen after the murder.

He told the Nation that as police conducted the search, Mr Ochieng dodged them, took a knife and stabbed himself in the stomach.

Police rushed him to a health centre in the area, where he was admitted.

"He tried to commit suicide but police saved his life. The scan shows that the stab wound is not deep. He is stable."

QUARREL

Police believe Ms Wangari was killed on Monday night.

Murang’a GK Prison management started looking for her after learning that she had not reported to work.

He body, which had started decomposing, was found in her rental house in Kiharu estate on Wednesday morning.

It is alleged that the main suspect and the deceased were lovers who first interacted on Facebook and then met in Murang'a.

An officer who claimed to have talked to the suspects in the case told the Nation that the murder took place after a quarrel.

“After engaging in sex, they had a quarrel. The deceased was furious with the man and confessed to him that she was a police officer," the officer said.

"That’s how the suspect ended up strangling her before stabbing her three times and placing the knife in her hands to make it appear that she had committed suicide."

THE ARRESTS

Mr Ochieng was arrested alongside Lodgers Namkuro and Mary Amollo in Kericho County on Thursday morning as they headed to Kisumu.

Detectives who sought anonymity told the Nation that Mr Namkuro and Ms Amollo found themselves on the police radar since they gave the main suspect a lift to Kisumu, where they were to attend a burial.

“We believe the main suspect fled to Kericho and sought refuge after committing the crime in Murang’a. He asked for a lift to Kisumu since his friend and the friend’s relative were heading there,” an officer told the Nation.

When they were arraigned on Friday, Mr Namkuro told the court that Mr Ochieng approached him, saying he wanted help shooting a music video.

“He came to my house with a television set and since he was my friend and we had plans to assist him in recording a music video, I agreed to give him the lift," he said.

Investigating officer Phoebe Okomo asked the court to have the suspects detained at Murang'a Police Station for investigations to be completed.

The magistrate said they will be detained there until May 31, when the case will be mentioned.

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