It is a horrendous murder that exposes the intricacies and hazards of love triangles.
Evans Karani, 38, a businessman based in Juja, Kiambu County baffled detectives after he confessed to having murdered his estranged girlfriend on Wednesday last week
Karani, who runs a transport business and doubles up as a sand broker in Ndarugo, had dated 24-year-old Catherine Nyokabi, a mother of one, for nearly four years but their relationship had been rocked with claims of infidelity with him accusing Nyokabi of having an affair with another man
Desperate and feeling betrayed, Karani reportedly told detectives that, early last week before the murder happened, he had unsuccessfully tried to convince Ms. Nyokabi to delete a photo of the alleged new lover from her phone because it was hurting him.
Karani allegedly said Nyokabi refused to do so, and this is when he started hatching a plan to kill her.
He said his first intention was to kill the alleged lover but he later changed his mind.
Worth noting is that Karani is married to another woman
Nyokabi, was last seen alive when she left her house in Nairobi’s Kasarani estate on Tuesday.
Nyokabi told her friend, Anne Wanja, that she would be meeting her estranged boyfriend, who wanted them to make up, at a city hotel.
This was about two weeks after Nyokabi, who has one child, ended her relationship with the businessman from Kirinyaga on allegations of battery.
At first, she was reluctant to see the man. Past efforts to try and iron out their differences, including interventions by her family and friends, had failed.
Wanja said that this time around, Nyokabi, after numerous calls from the ex-lover, decided to give the man a chance.
At around 5.30 pm, she boarded a matatu for Zimmerman where they were to meet. Her plan was to be back home by 8 pm to beat the curfew.
Wanja would later call Nyokabi at around 9 pm when she realized that Nyokabi had not returned home as planned.
“We spoke and she told me that she was in Juja and everything was okay. This is the last time I heard from her. Her phone was switched off at around 9.30 pm when I called her again,” said Wanja.
The friend said that Nyokabi was committed to the relationship and would have done anything to make things work.
Nyokabi had even agreed to quit her job as a waitress at a hotel in Kahawa Wendani to take care of her family, said Wanja.
This, she added, was after the man promised to take care of Nyokabi’s bills, including paying rent and buying food.
But at the beginning of February, the lovebirds’ relationship hit the rocks.
Wanja said that Nyokabi confided that the man was having financial difficulties. As a result, Nyokabi sought to return to work. Her lover, however, opposed this decision and instead wanted Nyokabi to stay at home.
Wanja said the man had told his family and friends that he intended to marry Nyokabi as a second wife.
The relationship was at the stage where he would visit Nyokabi and spend an entire weekend in their rented house.
The relationship has also been confirmed by Nyokabi’s father, Gitonga Njogu.
Mr. Njogu said: “I knew them to be lovers. Just like in any other relationship, they had differences, which I would help them iron out. Two weeks ago, my daughter said they had broken up. I told her it was okay and she shouldn’t cling on to a relationship in which she was unhappy. That was the last time I heard of the suspect.”
On Wednesday evening, the day Karani executed the murder plot, he called Nyokabi on phone and told her that he wanted to meet her so that they could iron their differences.
She obliged and asked for money for the hairdresser. She would later meet him in Ndarugo without knowing that she had gotten herself into a death trap.
Inside his Nissan Wingroad, registration number KCE 920V, Karani had a bottle of wine, her favourite, and after exchanging pleasantries, he told her that he had bought the drinks to enable them to relax and talk.
Karani told police that when he noticed that Nyokabi was completely intoxicated and could hardly talk, he strangled her with his belt. To ensure she was really dead, he reclined her seat and used a rope to finish the job.
Sure she was dead and that he had accomplished the mission, Mr Karani drove to Tola Estate in Witeithie, Juja constituency with intentions of dumping the body, but, near Bob Harris area, his car got stuck in the mud. He told detectives that he then used a knife to mutilate her body.
Confused or may be determined to cover up his crimes, Karani stepped out of his vehicle and removed the body. He tried to cover it with mud.
The body would later be exposed and locals who noticed it called the police.
The following day, Karani told police, that he tried to commit suicide by taking poison but this did not work. When the pain become unbearable, he bought a packet of milk and drank it, inducing vomiting.
He later told a close friend that he had killed Nyokabi and that the act was haunting him. The friend called the police who traced the suspect to his hideout in Githurai Kimbo.
At Juja Police Station where Mr Karani’s vehicle is being detained, blood stains are evident on the door and on the car’s rims. Inside the vehicle are two bottles of water, ropes, house keys and screw drivers.
The suspect will spend 14 days behind bars to allow police to conclude their probe.
The 38-year-old appeared before Thika law courts magistrate Oscar Wanyaga virtually from Juja Police Station on Monday morning.
Karani asked the magistrate to speed up his sentencing.
His case will be mentioned on May 3.