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Cameras could solve mystery of Wanjiru’s death plunge

Tuesday May 17 2011

Joseph Kuria | NATION Marathon Champion Samuel Wanjiru’s wife Teresia Njeri next to a security monitor in the couple’s home. Police expect the CCTV to show what may have transpired on the night her husband died.

Joseph Kuria | NATION Marathon Champion Samuel Wanjiru’s wife Teresia Njeri next to a security monitor in the couple’s home. Police expect the CCTV to show what may have transpired on the night her husband died. 

By JOHN NGIRACHU [email protected] and JAMES KARIUKI [email protected]

Security cameras at the home of Samuel Kamau Wanjiru could reveal the circumstances that led to his death.

This emerged as an MP asked in Parliament for an official statement on the tragedy, amid claims of foul play.

The cameras were working when the Nation visited the home of the Olympic gold medallist on Tuesday, and are connected to a television monitor in the master bedroom on the upper floor of the house.

One of the cameras is located right next to the balcony the athlete is alleged to have fallen from and plunged to his death on the concrete floor below.

Another camera at the gate would have captured images of visitors and passers-by, while another one facing the gate would have recorded any movements in the compound.

The gate cameras have motion sensors, which activate security lights, enabling them to capture clear images of anyone getting into or out of the compound.

There is another camera at the main door into the house, and more inside.

It was not clear, however, whether the security system recorded images or merely displayed them on the monitor.

Police in Nyahururu are betting big on the recorded images as they seek to unravel the cause of his death, the Nation was told.

This might happen as early as Wednesday when the technician who installed the cameras is expected to retrieve the recordings.

The acrimony between Wanjiru’s mother and his wife was apparent as they exchanged harsh words shortly after the older woman arrived at the home.

Ms Hannah Wanjiru, told journalists that her son was only married to Ms Mary Wacera, an athlete who lives across her house. The claims have been discounted by police reports which say Wanjiru was married to Teresia Njeri.

The old woman alleged her son was pushed to his death and dismissed claims that he could have committed suicide.

Njeri declined to comment on events of the tragic Sunday and referred the writer to the Nyahururu police boss.

The guard on duty, Mr Steven Maigua, said the athlete arrived home at 11.04pm in a Toyota Prado.

“He was drunk, and he parked the vehicle outside the gate, came out and asked whether Mama Shiru (his wife) was home. I told him she was not in and he asked me to open the gate,” said Mr Maigua, adding that he had recorded a statement with police.

He said he did not see any passenger in the vehicle when Wanjiru drove in.

He said his employer got into the house before he shut the gate and all was well until Njeri arrived at 11.19pm.

Mr Maigua said the couple quarrelled briefly and Njeri stormed out of the house talking on her phone. Wanjiru pleaded with her from the balcony to return the keys leading to the ground floor in vain.

He said the athlete then directed him to look for the spare keys in the guardhouse. While he was looking, he heard a thud.

Ndiraiguire mururumo ndiroima (I heard the loud thud and came out),” said Mr Maigua.

He found his employer writhing in pain on the ground, with blood oozing from the nose and mouth. Mr Maigua said he screamed for help and attempted to switch on the alarm but stopped after failing to locate the control panel.

The commotion drew the attention of the guard at Busara Forest View Academy, who rushed into the compound.

Mr Wanjiru was declared dead on arrival at the Nyahururu District Hospital.

Among those who arrived there first was the athlete’s brother, Simon Njoroge, who lives about 150 metres away with their mother.

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