About one week ago, 38-year-old Caroline Maina, a former employee at the Co-operative Bank in Embu, was kidnapped in Nairobi after one of her friends lured her with the promise of helping her boost her Stima Sacco shares.
Earlier on the Friday she was kidnapped, reports say that Caroline had dropped her last born son to school and drove to Stima Sacco Building to run an errand.
“She stayed for barely an hour and appeared to be in a hurry, making several phone calls before stepping out. Her family says she had told a friend and colleague who worked with her in the real estate business that she was meeting friends for lunch. That was the last time her phone was on. By nightfall, she had not got home. It was strange because she always got home early to spend time with her children. Her phone had been off since afternoon. Following her mysterious disappearance, her friend, identified as Joyce, went to Muthangari Police Station in Parklands to report” a report that appeared in the Standard said.
A day after she went missing, her vehicle—a Toyota Axio– was found abandoned in Kawangware near Gatina Primary School. The case was then taken over by DCI Nairobi Area Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) working alongside Dagoretti-based detective. A week later, her body was found dumped in Kitengela, Kajiado County. A boda boda rider had stumbled upon it in a thicket in Pranai in Kitengela. The eyes had been gouged out, her hip broken, and her whole body swollen.
Since then, investigations into her death have been on a high gear with shocking revelations on why she may have been murdered coming out. Currently four suspects have been arrested. They are Edwin Otieno Odiwuor, Samwel Okoth Adinda, Stevenson Oduor Ouma and Mercy Gitiri Mongo. The four are said to have been her friends.
Further investigations show that prior to being kidnapped, Caroline had withdrawn Sh. 350,000 from her account at a Cooperative Bank branch in Nairobi, before meeting the first suspect (Edwin) at Ngara for a business deal. Apparently, she had also made a call to one of her friends detailing her meeting with Edwin, who was to guide her into boosting her Stima Sacco shares with the withdrawn amount.
“Once at Ngara, Caroline had been forced into a waiting black KCN 300D Toyota Crown in which Edwin was waiting, before being handcuffed and sandwiched by the other named suspects,” the DCI said. “Acting on forensic intelligence, the investigating team escorted two of the suspects, (Edwin and Samwel) to Kajiado’s Paranai area, being the scene where the suspects dumbed Caroline’s body after torturing her to death. A pair of handcuffs used to restrain the deceased, her company stamp stolen from her car and a surgical face mask believed to have been worn by her were recovered.”
The report in The Standard says that one of the four suspects had sent a text message to the deceased two days before she went missing. The text message warned Caroline of dire consequences in the event that she failed to repay some money that she owed the sender of the message.
“It is alleged that Caroline had used her friend’s logbook as collateral in securing a loan from a city shylock. She was yet to repay the money and as a result the loan shark had decided to detain the logbook used as security and threatened to repossess the vehicle. Investigators are yet to ascertain the amount of money that the deceased owed but have gathered that it was not more than Sh. 20,000,” the report said.
The police further say that Caroline Maina had contacted her ex-boyfriend who is among the suspects on how to repay this money. They suspect that it could have been the reason Caroline visited a Sacco in Ngara where she was seeking to secure a loan possibly to expand her business and settle pressing debts, the report in the Standard said. Apparently, one of her friends had promised to help secure a loan at the sacco through his connections. Detectives say that the money involved in the dealings between Caroline and her four friends is the most probable reason why she was murdered.
After killing her, the four friends are suspected to have dumped her body in Kitengela using a Mercedes-Benz Reg. No. KCW 179G. However, her family has disputed that she could have been murdered due to the shylock loan.
Unconfirmed reports further say that Mercy who is one of the suspects and Caroline had a private deal in which Mercy would solicit for tenders and hand them over to Caroline for execution. One of these, allegedly, is a Sh. 2 million tender, of which Mercy was demanding a substantial cut days before Caroline disappeared.