The Nakuru prison warder whose body was found in a bush after she went missing for a week was strangled to death.
A post-mortem examination conducted on the body of Ms Caroline Chepchirchir Chesire revealed that she was strangled and suffocated to death by her assailants.
According to the report given to her family, Ms Chepchirchir had bruises on the neck and arms.
But her family believes that her death was well-orchestrated by some individuals keen to eliminate her for reasons not known to them.
Ms Chepchirchir’s body was found dumped in a bush in Githioro village in Subukia, Nakuru County on April 3, a day after she went missing. But the family learnt about her death a week after police recovered the body.
Her father, Mr Micah Chesire, who arrived at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital where her body was transferred to, said he suspected that her fourth-born daughter was killed elsewhere before her body was dumped in the bush.
Mr Chesire, a chief inspector of police working in Kericho, mourned the death of his daughter whom she described as peaceful and loving.
“The injuries on the body show that my daughter died a painful death and I still do not understand why someone could just decide to end her life in a brutal manner,” said Mr Chesire.
While recalling the last moments with her, the father of seven said he last spoke to his daughter on April 2, when she wanted to discuss an issue with him.
Mr Chesire said she had earlier informed him of her plans to secure a loan and they had agreed to discuss the issues the following day.
But this did not to happen as she could not be reached by phone.
He became more worried when she failed to communicate two days later, prompting him to embark on a journey to Nakuru to establish what the problem could be.
“I went to the Nakuru GK Prison where she was attached and was shocked to find out that she has not been reporting to work,” said Mr Chesire.
He reported her disappearance at the Nakuru Directorate of Criminal Investigations offices on Saturday.
It was on Wednesday morning that his worst fears were confirmed after he received the information that police had recovered a body believed to be his daughter’s.
"We were told that a body of a woman had been recovered in Subukia and taken to a mortuary in Nyahururu. It broke my heart when I went there and confirmed that it was my daughter," the father said.
Her brother, Joel Kurgat, said the news of his sister’s disappearance came as a shock to him since it was unusual for her not to inform her family of her whereabouts.
“I sensed something was amiss which made me stop what I was doing to join the police in the search. When the body was discovered, I rushed to the scene where I discovered it was my sister’s. From the look one could easily tell that she was killed by someone,” said Mr Kurgat.
The officer in charge of Nakuru Women’s Prison, Emily Momanyi, said she was taken aback by the news of the warder’s death whom she initially though had decided to abscond duty.
Ms Momanyi said it is common for young warders not to report to work for various reasons.
The prisons boss said she last saw Ms Chepchirchir on April 2 after she completed her duty in the evening.
“She was to report the following day for the afternoon shift. We marked her absent and we continued doing so for the remaining days. After seven days I informed my bosses about her disappearance,” said Ms Momanyi.
While mourning her death, Ms Momanyi described her as a hardworking and disciplined officer who performed her duties with dedication.
Ms Chepchirchir, 25, had served as a prison warder for one year after she joined the service on March 2018.
One suspect has been arrested in connection with her disappearance as detectives pursue another suspect.
Mr Joseph Kairu, a warder at Nakuru GK Prison, is one of the two people who were last seen with Ms Chepchirchir on April 3. The warder was in the company on his two male colleagues.
When he was presented before court on Thursday, police sought for more time to conclude their investigations.
In his miscellaneous application, police detective David Kuria said he intended to press abduction charges against Mr Kairu.
Resident Magistrate Wilson Kitur directed that the suspect be detained at the Nakuru Central Police Station for two weeks pending investigations.
The family has called for speedy investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding their kin’s death.