Mercy Jerono, much like any other newcomer to campus life, was thrilled to be joining Daystar University Athiriver to pursue higher education studies.
She reported to school on September 4th for an undergraduate degree in nursing, accompanied by her parents. The 18-year-old fresher would stay in the Daystar University hostels during her period of study.
After spending nearly a week on campus, the university organized a freshmen’s party. However, Mercy was sceptical about attending the event and instead began considering returning home.
The family’s spokesperson Mr. William Kanda revealed Jerono’s last call to her mother was to covey her decision not to attend the fresher’s party. She wanted to travel home and spend the weekend with her family before returning to school.
“She did not manage to get a vehicle so she decided to stay. She spoke on the phone with her mother between 6pm and around 7pm,” the spokesperson noted.
At 2pm on September 9th, the family received an urgent call instructing them to come to Daystar University immediately as their daughter was in critical condition. They hurried to the school only to find she had been rushed to Shalom Hospital.
“They went to university and later to the health facility. No one wanted to speak to them. Later, they were told she had died,” Mr. Kanda added.
Mercy Jerono’s family has raised numerous troubling questions regarding the treatment of their daughter. They claim that no police officers were involved in the proceedings that followed, and the case was reported as a suicide incident.
The student at Daystar’s Athi River campus allegedly died by suicide at a hostel in the Daystar area within Athi River South on September 8, 2023. The matter was then allegedly reported to Athi River police station as a suicide incident report on September 9 at 3.15 am.
As per a postmortem report conducted on her body, the young girl is said to have died from a 13-centimetre-deep knife stab straight to her heart. It however remains unclear whether she died at the school, during transport or at Shalom Hospital in Athi River.
“We want to see the CCTV footage so that we can trace her last movements. It is surprising that a whole university does not have security cameras,” the family said while refuting claims that it was a suicide case.
The case at Daystar University remains shrouded in questions, and the family is demanding answers and seeking justice for their child, who had just joined uni.
Detectives from the DCI have already visited the institution and initiated investigations.
Daystar University Nairobi campus principal, Professor Micheal Bowen, representing Vice-Chancellor Prof. Laban Oyiro, stated that the university would assist in any way possible to ensure that justice is served.
“We share our sympathies with the family. I want to assure you that we will do our best to ensure that the deceased gets justice,” he said.
Mercy Jerono was buried at her home in Kapsait, Elgeyo Marakwet County on Saturday, September 16th.
In attendance were local & government leaders such as Governor Wisely Rotich, Marakwet West MP Timothy Torotich and Woman Rep Caroline Ngelechei. The leaders called for justice for the family who have suffered a heartbreaking ordeal.
“We don’t know what happened and we want answers. We want to be told who killed the university student. We are demanding answers and we will not rest until we know the truth,” Caroline Ngelechei stated.
“If we cannot trace the person who murdered this innocent student and disappeared then we will have failed as a country. We have lost a precious life, someone who would have graduated and come back to support her community,” added Governor Wisley Rotich.
Mercy Jerono was laid to rest in a grave surrounded by 18 trees, symbolising the years she had lived on earth. Family and friends described her as a jovial, kind and loving person that the world had lost.