The lifeless body of a 24-year-old woman who was confirmed missing days ago has been found in a latrine inside a Catholic church in Kenya.
Josephine Karimi who had recently started working as a secretary for a Catholic Church association in Kenya, mysteriously went missing on June 28.
After a thorough investigation involving the police her body was found on Monday, July 3 in a pit latrine on the church premises.
The 24-year-old had just worked for seven days at the St. Mary’s Catholic Women Association (CWA) Centre in Kiaragana, Embu County when she was discovered brutally murdered and her body dumped there five days later.
Her family, as well as the entire Kivwe village in Kenya where she was raised, are currently in mourning according to several Kenyan publications.
The family tried to contact Karimi, on Thursday last week after she did not arrive home on Wednesday, June 28, but her mobile phone had been turned off.
Moments later, they received information from a Catholic priest, who told them that Karimi was not at the centre and that no one had any idea of her whereabouts.
“Before Karimi went missing, she had lunch with her mother and went back to work on Wednesday,” her father, Simon Kivuti Gatumu, said.
“But the next day we called to check on her, but her phone did not go through, and we sensed that something was wrong. Then a priest called and told us that Kirimi hadn’t come to work on Thursday. I rushed to the centre and found that my daughter was indeed not in her office, which was locked”.
Shocked, the family desperately searched everywhere for their daughter, but couldn’t find her.
The family announced her disappearance in various churches and on social media, but no one knew or talked any information about her whereabouts.
On Saturday, her father, Mr Gatumo, an employee of the Kenya National Library Services in Embu, reported the matter to Runyenjes Police Station and recorded a statement.
Detectives at the station told Mr. Gatumo to go home and promised to look into the situation.
The detectives asked the librarian to accompany them to the Catholic Centre when he returned to Runyenjes Police Station on Monday, and he agreed. Once there, they picked up a casual labourer who also works for the church and interrogated him for hours.
During the interrogation, the labourer, whose job is to clear bushes and do other menial work at the centre, revealed that he knew where Karimi was and that she was safe.
“The casual labourer told the detectives that Karimi was fine, but unfortunately she was not,” Mr Gatumo recalled.
The labourer took the detectives to the pit latrine, and when they looked through it, they saw the woman’s lifeless body and immediately took him to the station for further interrogation.
Embu East sub-county police boss Anthony Maina said the labourer, was being treated as a prime suspect in the macabre murder and would be charged in court once investigations were complete.
“The suspect works within the premises of the centre, and he must face the law,” he said, adding that the killing was being treated as murder.
“We have established that the woman was eliminated and thrown there, possibly to cover up the evidence.”
He said the body of the deceased had been recovered and taken to the mortuary for post-mortem and asked the family to be patient, promising that justice would be done.
Mr Gatumo lamented that his daughter was working alone in a secluded place with no security.
“My daughter was working alone in that office, and there were no guards to watch over her. If there were guards at the centre or more people working there, my daughter would not have been murdered. We are still coming to terms with our daughter’s death,” he said.
The Catholic priest, Father Amedeus Mugendi, declined to comment on the incident.
“The matter is sensitive, and I don’t want to talk about it because it is being handled by the police,” the priest said.