Detectives investigating the kidnapping and murder of four men who disappeared after lunch in Kitengela battle to unmask a mysterious man and his girlfriend who enjoyed the last meal with the quartet.
Jack Anyango (37), Elijah Obuong (35), Benjamin Imbayi (30) and Brian Odor (36) were kidnapped on April 19 shortly after the roast at the Enkare Club and were not seen for 10 days.
They have since been found to have been driven over police roadblocks in Nairobi, Kiambu, and killed in Murang’a – a county outside the Disease Infected Zone – an indication that their kidnappers were authorized to leave the restricted area.
The bodies of Mr. Obuong and Mr. Imbai were found dumped in the Mukungai River, Murang’a County and Kieni Forest, Kiambu County, respectively, last Thursday. While three other bodies were discovered in Murang’a, the families of Mr. Anyango and Mr. Oduor have yet to find or identify their relatives.
But in their search for the men’s killers, detectives who were privy to the investigation yesterday told Nation they were looking for the mysterious man and woman who ate and ate with the men who were now killed in Kitengela.
The middle-aged man, who only identified himself as Erico on Facebook, and his girlfriend were able to escape the kidnappers’ dragnet through a mustache, said a detective seeking anonymity because he is not authorized to give media reports.
Erico, the source said, was known to the quartet, and after lunch he and his wife were using a separate car when the killed men drove into their car – a Toyota Mark X with the registration number KCQ 715C.
According to the source, detectives have identified Erico as the person who called the families to inform them of a possible kidnapping by the Kitengela Quartet. Investigators believe the man and his girlfriend might have witnessed the kidnapping, but the kidnappers apparently weren’t interested in the duo.
“The two could have witnessed the kidnapping of the four. It seemed as if the kidnappers who might have subjugated the four blocked them before reaching for their car,” said the detective.
“Eero’s cell phone signal was last recorded in Bungoma. We’re tracking him.”
Bath the four goodbye
One of the four men, Mr. Imbai, is from Bungoma County, and homicide detectors suspect that he and the mysterious Erico may have been fellow villagers.
Sign up for the AllAfrica newsletter for free
Get the latest African news delivered to your inbox
We need to confirm your email address.
To complete the process, follow the instructions in the email we just sent you.
There was a problem processing your submission. Please try again later.
On April 20, Erico said goodbye to the four in a Facebook post after calling relatives and instructing them where the car had been parked.
“Shine on your way, you have to fly your way home, shine on your way, you have to fly your way home. Yagla Aleeh,” wrote Erico. The identity and details of the woman in the mix remain sparse.
But even as the police focus on Erico, it turns out that detectives don’t have to interview anyone at the Enkare Club, the last address where the killed men were seen alive. More than 14 days after the kidnapping, neither the club owner nor his staff were summoned.
Kajiado County Police Commander Muthuri Mwongela said yesterday the case had been picked up by the Murder Division of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
“Act at DCI Headquarters. Talk to them,” he told Nation via text message.
At the popular club, which apparently violated the lockdown measures when serving the six customers, the matter seemed evasive yesterday. However, a waitress confidently told Nation that the four men were regular customers.
“I wasn’t on duty that day, but they (the four) are repeat customers, especially on weekdays. They were friendly customers and sometimes gave advice like any other wealthy customer. There was nothing unusual about them,” she said.
The popular club, housed in a semi-permanent building on Namanga Road, is known for its Nyama Choma and is popular with young people and rhumba music lovers.
The families of the four men want detectives to examine surveillance cameras near the club for evidence of their relatives being kidnapped.