Joseph Ochieng, the key suspect in the killing of Murang’a prison warder Pauline Wangari, was on Friday evening taken to a Buruburu hospital after he attempted suicide.
Ochieng, 24, stabbed himself in the abdomen with a kitchen knife as detectives conducted a search in his house located at Maringo in Makadara Constituency.
Murang’a Law Courts had earlier Friday granted DCI officers permission to conduct a search in the suspect’s house as part of investigations into Wangari’s killing.
Murang’a police commander, Josephat Kinyua, confirmed the incident to EDAILY, saying DCI officers, who were conducting the home-search, swiftly took Ochieng to hospital after he drove the knife into his abdomen at 3pm Friday.
The suspect, a mechanic-cum-artiste, lives alone in the house.
Pauline Wangari’s laptop and mobile phone were found in Ochieng’s house, Murang’a police boss Kinyua says.
COURT GRANTS DETECTIVES 14 DAYS TO HOLD SUSPECTS
Murang’a Principal Magistrate, Sheila Nyaga, on Friday morning granted the detectives 14 days to detain Ochieng and two other suspects linked to Wangari’s murder.
The two other suspects are Rodgers Namukura, who is Ochieng’s friend and Mary Amollo Olisa, who is Namukura’s cousin.
The three were arrested on a roadblock placed at Kipsitet area in Kericho County on Thursday 5pm.
Olisa told Murang’a Law Courts that she had offered Ochieng a lift to Kisumu on Thursday — and that she did not know he was a murder suspect on the run.
WHY I KILLED WANGARI: OCHIENG
Ochieng told DCI detectives on Friday that an argument over hard drugs after a bhang-smoking session on the night of Monday, May 13 preceded the killing of 24-year-old Murang’a prison warder, Pauline Wangari.
According to Ochieng, May 13 was the first time he was meeting face-to-face with Wangari, whom he claims he knew through Facebook.
“He described his relationship with the suspect as ‘just a friendship’,” said the DCI officer handling the case.
Ochieng, according to the detectives, travelled from Nairobi Monday morning.
According to the suspect, he had an argument with Pauline Wangari after she refused to take some hard drugs which he had given her, the DCI said.
Prior to the tiff, the two spent a significant part of Monday evening indoors smoking bhang, the suspect told the DCI.
“As per the suspect’s testimony, he strangled the woman after she refused to take the drugs he was recommending to her. He said the woman, thereafter, fell down with a thud, and he thought he had killed her. Sent into a panic mode following the development, the suspect said he reached for a kitchen knife and stabbed her in the chest, neck and abdomen, and, thereafter, put the knife firmly in her grip in a bid to make it look like Wangari had killed herself,” said the DCI officer.
In his testimony, the suspect further claimed prior to the quarrel, he and Pauline Wangari got intimate. A medical examination on Wangari is yet to authenticate Ochieng’s claims.
The suspect was captured on CCTV cameras entering Pauline Wangari’s house at 9pm on Monday, and he left at 3am on Tuesday.
The cameras showed the suspect carrying the deceased’s large bag, her phone and a TV set.
Ochieng’s arrest came barely 24 hours after that of Pauline Wangari’s boyfriend, Peterson Njiru.
Njiru was arrested in Murang’a late Wednesday, and arraigned at the Murang’a Law Courts on Thursday. He did not take plea.
Detectives were allowed 14 days to detain him, but was on Friday, May 17 released on condition that he presents himself to the police should he be needed to file a report.
Pauline Wangari, a constable at Murang’a GK Prison, was found naked on her bed early Wednesday, with her entire bedding soaked in blood. She had been stabbed multiple times in the head, abdomen and neck.
In her lifeless state, a roll of bhang was — ostensibly — placed between her lips, and a kitchen knife firmly clutched in her right hand.
Pauline Wangari’s body was found in the sorry state by her work colleagues, who broke down her door on Wednesday after she failed to report to work on Monday and Tuesday.
“Her body was photographed and moved to the Murang’a County Government morgue awaiting postmortem,” read the police report.