Kenya has relied on the services of the International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, to help track down the main suspect in the murder of Kenyan-born Bahraini athlete, Damaris Muthee Mutua.
Interpol will work with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Foreign Affairs ministry to trace Eskinder Hailemaryam Folie, who had allegedly confessed to the killing of Muthee, his girlfriend.
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The athlete’s body was found on Tuesday, April 19 in her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County. Preliminary investigations revealed that there were no visible injuries on the decomposing body, an indication that Muthee may have died via strangulation.
The DCI in Iten, led by detective Andalo Munga, announced that police are treating Eskinder, who goes by the name Koki Fai on social media, as the prime suspect of the murder. He had escaped to Ethiopia on Saturday, April 16, the same day Muthee was murdered.
“We shall use all available legal means to ensure the fugitive suspect is arrested and extradited to Kenya for questioning and subsequent arraignment in court. We have reasons to believe the suspect is responsible for the heinous crime,” Munga told the Nation.
Koki was the last person with Muthee and had even called one of his friends after fleeing Kenya to confess to the murder.
“Mutua, who is a long-distance runner, was last seen in the company of her boyfriend before he disappeared and her body to be discovered days later fully covered with a blanket and Hailemariam’s house locked from outside. At the moment, we are combing all crucial information for leads into the murder,” Munga added.
Keiyo North Deputy County Commissioner, Julius Maiyo, had earlier revealed that Muthee paid a visit to Koki on the fateful day, with suspicions that she was killed on the same night. Officers had arrived at their residence and broke into it after it was locked, and found the athlete’s body.
“The slain athlete had visited the Ethiopian boyfriend on Saturday and we are suspecting that she was killed the same night because the body is decomposing.
“The police got reports that the Ethiopian had killed his girlfriend and when the officers came to their residence, they found it locked. They broke the door and found the decomposing body,” he told the media.
Muthee had amassed accolades during the 20 kilometres Marrakesh Marathon on October 7, 2018, where she finished first at a time of 1:08:28.
According to records by World Athletics, her last involvement was the 10KM International de Dakhla in Dakhla, Morocco on December 22, 2019, where she finished seventh at a time of 33:14. Her only other major success was still in Morocco but on May 14, 2017, in the 10 km race in Fes, placing first in 33:38.
She also participated in the Maputo half marathon in 2018 as well as Agadir Marathon in Morocco in 2017, placing second on both occasions.