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Probe on Rita Waeni's head reveals cause of death before she was dismembered

Autopsy on Rita Waeni's head finally reveals how she met her death before she was dismembered.

A collage photo of Rita Waeni, an X-ray  photo and Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor

Government pathologist Johansen Oduor has finally disclosed the cause of Rita Waeni Muendo’s death.

Speaking to media outlets on Thursday, January 25, Oduor brought to light the gruesome findings after the recovery of Waeni's decapitated head, concluding that she died of strangulation.

“Upon examining that head, the main findings were that the head had been chopped off at the neck, at the level of the C5 vertebra. There was bruising on the scalp, which to me looked like it was caused by a blunt object.

"Upon examining the neck structures, we also saw some fractures of bones which are usually very important in homicides. One of the bones is called the hyoid bone, and there was also the thyroid cartilage bone which had some fractures and hemorrhage,” he said.

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The hyoid is the U-shaped bone of the neck which breaks during strangulation. The C5 provides sensation to the upper part of your upper arm down to your elbow, while the thyroid cartilage protects the vocal folds which are located directly behind it.

“From all this, I can comfortably say that what caused the death of that young lady was strangulation, after which she was decapitated and her body dumped,” Oduor stated.

He added that the family positively identified the head, by her dental formation, hair and other features, awaiting scientific confirmation.

This revelation comes after an initial postmortem on Waeni's body, which did not yield conclusive results due to the absence of the head at the time.

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Currently, six individuals are in custody in connection with the murder, including two Nigerian nationals, four Kenyans, and one individual with a Mozambican passport.

These individuals have not yet been formally charged or asked to plead.

Among those in custody are two Nigerian suspects, William Ovie Opia and Johnbull Asibor.

They were found in possession of various items, including a hatchet, a butcher knife, six mobile phones, three laptop computers, and multiple SIM cards.

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Opia's passport had expired, and Asibor claimed to have lost his passport about a year ago.

The suspects were arrested in Ndenderu, Kiambu, and will be held in police custody to allow for the completion of the inquiry.

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