Pastor and his family detained after body of Form Three girl found dumped in Kitui

Police in Kitui are holding a pastor, his wife and three children over the alleged sexual assault and murder of a teenage girl in their village.

The pastor and his family were arrested after the body of Alice Mulewa Anne, a Form Three student at Mikongooni Mixed Day Secondary School in Kanziko, Kitui South, was found dumped on a village footpath near his home.

The wife and three children – two sons and a daughter – are believed to have helped the pastor dispose of the body after the killing using the family motorcycle.

The girl is said to have left school on Wednesday last week and stopped by the nearby trading centre to get her hair cut at a barbershop owned by the pastor.

According to the student’s mother, Anne Mutinda, she was being attended to by one of the pastor’s sons, who is also her schoolmate, and left the market around 6:30pm in the evening but never reached home, which is barely two kilometres away.

“I got worried when she did not turn up and went out to look for her because it was unusual for her to be out late at night, but the search turned up nothing,” said the grieving single mother.

At the market, the mother was told that her daughter had left before sundown, using an isolated village footpath that passes through the pastor’s farm as a shortcut to her home.

The next morning, to her horror, the mother was called by neighbours who had stumbled upon her daughter’s body between her home and the pastors’ farm.

The body had piercing bite marks on her face and hands, suggesting she’d struggled with her killers, and blood oozing from her genitals, suggesting she’d been raped.

The student also had burns on the elbows of her hands, suggesting that she may have been taken to the scene on a motorcycle after she was killed, with her free hands coming into contact with the exhaust pipe.

There was a deep wound on the back of her head caused by a blunt object.

Detectives investigating the murder of the student believe that the girl was abducted on her way from school and taken to the pastor’s house, where she was defiled and then murdered.

The murdered student and her family were members of the church headed by the detained pastor.

Preliminary investigations revealed conflicting stories among the detained family members, with the children giving different accounts to the police than their parents, leading to their arrest.

The pastor denied that the student had been shaved at his barbershop, despite being present on the premises, while his son confirmed to police that he had indeed attended to the girl in his father’s presence.

He raised further suspicion when he asked the family to accept the sad reality and offered to help raise funds to give the girl a funeral worthy of a queen.

A motorcycle with blood stains on it was among several pieces of evidence recovered by the police and samples taken to the government chemist for DNA analysis.

According to Ikutha Sub-County Police Commander Paul Omolo, investigators have obtained a court warrant to detain the pastor’s family in order to complete investigations before deciding who to charge in court.

Mr Omolo said they were yet to establish the motive for the murder but promised that no stone would be left unturned.

Women leaders in Kitui County, led by former governor Charity Ngilu and women’s representative Irene Kasalu, condemned the killing and urged police to speed up investigations to bring the alleged killers to justice.

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