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Autopsy shows Nyeri’s most wanted man was strangled to death

Tuesday December 4 2018

John Githinji alias Mrefu

John Githinji alias Mrefu whose body was found dumbed in Karia Dam in Nyeri. A post-mortem examination by a government pathologist showed he was strangled to death. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A man said to be Nyeri’s most wanted robbery suspect and who had surrendered to the police a month ago only for his lifeless body to later found dumped in a dam was strangled to death, government pathologists have said.

After post-mortem examination on Monday, government pathologist Peter Ndegwa concluded that John Githinji alias Mrefu died from strangulation both by hands and a cord.

The pathologist also noted that the victim was not tortured at the time of his death.

“It is very clear that the victim died from strangulation both by hand and a cord. There were no signs of torture as there are no visible signs from the body,” Dr Ndegwa said.


According to the post-mortem report, Githinji barely gave a fight as there were no defensive injuries, an indication that he was subdued before being killed.

“It is obvious he barely fought back, meaning he was restrained by his attacker(s). Maybe there was more than one attacker,” the pathologist said.

The post-mortem was conducted under the watch of the Independent Medico Legal Unit (Imlu), the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) and lobby groups Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) and Informaction.

Githinji disappeared barely two weeks after being released from police custody where he had turned himself in.

He was reported missing last week with claims that he had been picked up by unknown people at his shop in Nyeri Town.

According to his wife Julia Wanjiku, the family received a call that her husband had been picked up by unknown people and taken to Nyeri Police Station.


Githinji had surrendered himself alongside another robbery suspect, Joseph Kang’ethe, at the Central Regional Directorate of Criminals Investigations headquarters on October 22.

Police are said to have been pursuing Kang’ethe alias Wakinanyu and Githinji over links to violent robberies as well as links to the outlawed Mungiki sect.

The disfigured body Githinji was found last week stuffed in a sack and dumped into Karia Dam outside Nyeri Town.

Following the post-mortem examination, Muhuri demanded for an inquest file to be opened to investigate Githinji’s death, pointing an accusing finger at the police.

“This development is troubling because people will now not even heed to any amnesty to surrender. We demand to know who killed Githinji even after he turned himself in. An inquest file should be opened immediately to answer these questions,” Muhuri official Francis Auma said in a statement.