Joseph Kinyua Murimi detained over suspected murder of Velvine Nungari Kinyanjui


Joseph Kinyua Murimi detained over suspected murder of Velvine Nungari Kinyanjui
The obituary of 23-year-old Velvine Nungari Kinyanjui, who succumbed to collapse of the lungs after developing compression fractures on her vertebral column. PHOTO / COURTESY

A Kiambu court on Friday detained Joseph Kinyua Murimi, the prime suspect in the suspected murder of 23-year-old Velvine Nungari Kinyanjui, for 10 days pending completion of investigations.

Kiambu Law Courts Chief Magistrate Patriciah Gichohi gave the ruling virtually following a miscellaneous application for custodial orders made by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Murimi previously told police he met Velvine at Ruiru’s Destiny Park where she worked and asked her out on a date.

They went for the date on February 23, 2021, two days after they met, when he picked her at Kirigiti and they proceeded to Q West restaurant in Kahawa West for drinks.

They then moved to Kijito restaurant on Kamiti Road before later heading to Sinnot Hotel where they reportedly booked a room and were even captured on CCTV at the reception collecting the key at around 9pm.

A bar attendant at the hotel quizzed by police claimed to have ushered out the suspect an hour and a half after they had checked in at 10.30pm.

According to the attendant, the suspect told him he couldn’t spend the night there since he was a married man hence had left Velvine in the unlocked room to rest as she was exhausted.

Kinyua is said to have then driven away to his home, however taking Velvine’s mobile phone along.

The following day in the afternoon, police said, Velvine called a female friend requesting her to tag along with another person so that they could help her get to hospital.

They took her to the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital in a cab, before proceeding to report the incident at Kiamumbi Police Station.

At KU Hospital, Velvine was treated for spine-related complications and cervical fractures for several days.

Meanwhile, officers at the Kiamumbi Police Station then swung into action and arrested the suspect and sought custodial orders for 5 days which they were granted by the Kiambu court.

Kinyua was later charged with rape and released on a Ksh.100,000 cash bail.

Velvine, however, passed on March 9, 2021 while still receiving treatment at the hospital.

According to a pathologist – Dr Kimani – who conducted her autopsy on March 11, she had developed compression fractures on her vertebral column before succumbing to collapse of the lungs.

It was at this point that DCI detectives based in Kiamumbi took over the case from the police on March 12 and rearrested the suspect.

The detectives then sought custodial orders and were allowed 6 days to hold the suspect to allow for fresh interrogations and compile a murder file.

The sleuths, having reportedly unearthed new information pertinent to the case, were on Friday granted 10 more days to hold the suspect before presenting him to plead to murder charges.

The file has since also been taken over by the Homicide branch of the DCI

Velvine was buried on March 17, 2021. The incident has prompted outrage online and sparked conversation over the rising number of femicide cases in the country.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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