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Careen Chepchumba was strangled, pathologist testifies

Monday October 9 2017

Louis Otieno

Ex-television news anchor Louis Otieno. Chief government pathologist Johansen Odour on October 9, 2017 told a Nairobi court that the autopsy showed Ms Chepchumba bled to death. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BENSON MATHEKA
By BENSON MATHEKA
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Former Kenya Power employee Careen Chepchumba, who was found murdered in her apartment five years ago, died from strangulation, an inquest into her death has heard.

Ms Chepchumba was found dead in her apartment at Kilimani’s Santonia Court a day after she indicated to her parents that she wanted to ditch former TV news anchor Louis Otieno.

BLEEDING
On Monday, Chief Government pathologist Johansen Oduor told magistrate Charles Ondieki that an autopsy showed that Ms Chepchumba bled in the eyes and neck muscles due to pressure applied on her neck by the assailant.

“There was bleeding in the left eye and on the neck muscles. We formed the opinion that death was due to lack of oxygen due to manual strangulation,” Dr Oduor told the inquest.

LIFESTYLE
He said Ms Chepchumba might have been sexually assaulted by the assailant.

“We took samples for further analysis but I have never seen the report,” he said.

The pathologist said the samples were handed over to detectives from Kilimani Police Station who were investigating the murder.

Mr Otieno’s expensive lifestyle took centre stage during the inquest.

CIGAR MANAGER
Earlier, Ms Chepchumba’s father, Mr Hosea Kili, told the inquest she had gone on a borrowing spree to finance Mr Otieno’s flashy lifestyle.

It emerged that Ms Chepchumba might have differed with Mr Otieno over non-payment for a box of expensive cigars she had ordered from a duty-free shop at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport a week to her death.

Mr Manase Mwaura Ngumi, a manager at the shop, testified that Mr Otieno had introduced Ms Chepchumba to him as his cigar manager.

“He used to visit our shop when flying out. One day he came with a lady called Careen and told me she was his cigar manager and would be handling his stock.

"We exchanged contacts with Careen and from that day, she would order cigars,” Mr Mwaura said.

PAYMENT
The inquest heard that a week before Ms Chepchumba was found dead on Valentine’s Day, 2012, she ordered a box of 20 sticks of Davidoff cigars valued at 310 US dollars, an equivalent of Sh31,000.

“Louis used to purchase these cigars and was a regular customer, especially when flying out,” the witness said, adding that when Ms Chepchumba ordered the cigars, she said she would send a driver to pick them and promised to send payment through M-Pesa.

“She did not send the payment as promised,” he said.

Several witnesses who testified earlier told the court that she had borrowed heavily to finance Mr Otieno’s lifestyle.