Fresh details on the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Shantel Nzembi have emerged, indicating the girl was taken by a light-skinned woman as she played with other children outside her Kitengela home on Saturday afternoon.
Shantel’s body was found dumped on a feeder road in Kitengela town on Monday morning. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Sh300,000 from her mother, Ms Christine Ngina.
According to a witness, Shantel was out playing with a girl next-door, when they were approached by the stranger, who enquired about a house to let.
The witness told detectives that the woman left with Shantel, holding her hand. That was between 3pm and 4pm.
The other girl’s mother, in an earlier statement to detectives, had said her children had left with a relative on Friday evening on a visit.
According to Shantel’s mother, a woman with a gravelly voice called her more than 70 times while demanding the ransom.
When the Nation visited the Shantel family in their one- bedroom flat, relatives and friends had gathered to console the bereaved.
There was a heavy presence of detectives in the neighbourhood, trying to piece together Shantel’s last moments.
Her school uniform, inscribed with her initials, hung loosely on a curtain partitioning the living room to make an extra bedroom.
Ms Ngina was in shock, trying to come to terms with her last born’s murder. She told the Nation the abductor last called her on Monday at 8.47am, moments before Shantel’s body was found.
“We are still in darkness and fear foul play. We are organising our daughters autopsy. We hope detectives will expedite the investigations,” she said.
Persons of interest
According to an officer privy to the investigation, detectives are following a close lead that will help them unravel the mystery surrounding Shantel’s death.
Ms Ngina lived with her two children. The first-born is in boarding school.
“We are almost making a breakthrough. We have established the girl was being held within Kitengela, contrary to the abductor(s) insinuation they were in Kiambu County. All persons of interest have recorded statements,” said the detective.
Two people, male and female, are persons of interest.
Isinya sub county Director of Criminal Investigations Jeremiah Ndubai said detectives had several persons of interest and they might zero in on suspects as the investigations continue.
“We are trying to get mobile phone data from a service provider. Our preliminary investigations have created some ripples and we might arrest suspects soon,” said Mr Ndubai.