Police Use M-Pesa to Trace Student's Killer
An M-Pesa transaction has helped detectives solve the puzzle of a college student murdered three months ago. Twenty-year-old Jane Wairimu went missing on May 20, and her remains were found in a thicket at a farm in Kiserian, on the outskirts of Nairobi, last Saturday.
Relatives and police had started by trying to contact Ms Wairimu through her cellphone, but her line was out of reach. Detectives then located her cellphone, having tracked its serial number, which was still in use, but with a different SIM card.
A man who had been using it, later identified as the killer, sensed that police were on his tracks and discarded the phone and his SIM card. This threw police off-track until the detectives opted for M-Pesa.
They sent Sh150 to the suspect's number and even though the SIM card had been discarded, a report message displayed the names of the person who had registered it.
Using the information, the detectives got more details from the service provider and tracked down the suspect to his rural home in Manyatta, Embu District.
He was arrested on Thursday last week and two days later he led the police to the crime scene at Nkarusa farm where the deceased's skeleton, clothes and handbag were found. Ms Wairimu's mother, Ms Susan Nyambura, said her daughter was going to apply for an ID at Ngong. "There was a traffic crackdown that day. She called me to say she was stranded," she told the Nation.
The mother advised her to return home and she replied that she would walk back. She took a shortcut -- a lonely and dusty road traversing Nkarusa farm, where the suspect was employed to look after cattle.
The suspect told police he spotted the girl in the farm and confessed to have raped, strangled, and then hit her head with a rock, to make sure she was dead. He approached his employer the following day and lied to him that his father had died. His employer released him, but he never came back until police arrested him.