Saturday morning, January 26, 2019, began with Joseph Kori Karuwe (41) heading out to find his mistress, Ms. Judy Wangui Mungai (36), who lived at Fourways Junction in Kiambu, to resolve some conflict.
Unbeknownst to him, Ms. Mungai was headed to his home in Garden Estate for the same reason. And so began a series of events that left his wife, Ms. Mary Wambui Kamangara (39), dead under mysterious circumstances, with her car nowhere to be found.
Ms. Mungai, finding Mr. Kori away, tried to ask his six-year-old son where his father went, at which point Ms. Kamangara left the house, greeted her former employee warmly and made plans to have lunch together that day.
If she suspected that Ms. Mungai had an affair with her husband, Ms. Kamangara did not show it that day. They had a seemingly good afternoon together, driving Mary’s car, a white Mercedes Benz C200, to lunch at Homeland Inn on Thika Road.
They were joined by two men, who arrived separately and also left separately after sharing roast beef and some wine. According to witnesses, the ladies appeared to be jovial around each other, and even took selfies together.
At some point, Mary spoke to her mother about her uncle’s funeral, which was to take place at their home in Rongai, Nakuru, the following week. Her mother was shocked to receive a call from Kori later that evening, claiming that her daughter was missing and had been kidnapped.
Saturday evening and Sunday morning
Ms. Kamangara, after arranging for a mechanic to look at Ms. Wangui’s taxi that had stalled outside her house, dropped Wangui home at the latter’s behest. She found Kori waiting in the house, confirming her suspicions that the two were having an affair.
An argument ensued, lasting well until it was dark, and leaving Ms. Kamangara fatally injured. Her body was dumped in a dam near Courtesy Beach Hotel, Juja, where it was discovered on Sunday morning.
According to Mr. Obed Kiio, Juja DCIO, Ms. Kamangara suffered a deep cut to the side of her head, with multiple bruises on her hands pointing to some struggle before her death. Her body had been wrapped in bedsheets and stashed in a sack before disposal.
Kori, who came to the scene as the police gathered evidence, was arrested on Sunday morning. He claimed that he was led to the scene following a Facebook post in the Kilimani Mums group.
Kori led them to Wangui, who was arrested in her house. Bloodstained clothes were retrieved and blood samples taken from the house for DNA analysis.
The two were arraigned at the Kiambu Law Courts and have been detained for 14 days to allow investigations.
Multiple blows and suffocation
Post-mortem examination results released at the end of last week from the Kenyatta University funeral home revealed that Ms. Kamangara suffered a painful death: nine blows to the head which didn’t kill her, so her assailants went on to suffocate her.
There was a deep cut, according to the report, on one side of her head, similar to one that would be inflicted using the butt of a gun. The post-mortem was conducted by Dr. Peter Ndegwa, the government pathologist, in the presence of the investigating team and relatives.
Investigators have also revealed that her husband, Kori, was a licensed gun owner and holder, and detectives are trying to establish whether his weapon was the one used in the assault that ended Ms. Kamangara’s life.
Sources indicate that Ms. Kamangara’s car was found dumped in Kwa Maiko shopping centre in Githunguri three days later. Residents raised alarm after they noticed the vehicle had not moved in three days, suspecting it to be the white Mercedes Benz reported in the news.
Several family meetings have been held to decide the final resting place of Ms. Kamangara’s remains.
The general consensus, according to majority of family members, is that her remains should be interred in Mweiga, Nyeri, which is Kori’s home, as opposed to her birthplace in Rongai, Nakuru. This to avoid the quagmire of burying a married woman (they had had the Agikuyu traditional ceremony) away from her matrimonial home, and to prevent her sons from being disinherited.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kamangara’s family is crying for justice to be served to Mary’s killers. “Clearly, my sister was murdered, and all we’re asking is for the police to act swiftly so that the course of justice is not averted,” said Ms. Esther Kamangara, sister of the deceased.