Some of the documents recovered by the detectives from a house in Mnarani in Kilifi county on Sunday
EXHIBITS: Some of the documents recovered by the detectives from a house in Mnarani in Kilifi county on Sunday
Image: Courtesy

By Reporter

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations probing a Catholic priest’s murder on Sunday recovered withdrawal receipts from the deceased’s bank accounts.

The documents showing money was withdrawn from the late Michael Maingi’s bank accounts were recovered at a house in Mnarani, Kilifi county.

A detective privy to the investigations divulged that the house is believed to have been rented by the main murder suspect, Michael Mutunga, two days after the killing.

Some hotel receipts were also recovered from the same house.

“Also recovered from the house were newly purchased household items totaling to approximately Sh60,000, supermarket receipts and blood-stained clothes,” the sleuth confided, according to the Star on Monday.

The source added that the clothes had been taken to the Government Chemist for forensic analysis.

According to the source, the garage where the deceased’s car colour was allegedly changed from black to white on October 12 was also identified.

The investigations took a dramatic twist on Friday after Mutunga said he had been in a romantic relationship with the deceased.

According to a detective, the 25-year-old claimed that he was in an intimate relationship with the priest.

The investigators have since gone back to the drawing board following the fresh claims by the trained nursery school teacher.

A postmortem on the priest’s body conducted at Montezuma Monalisa Funeral Home in Machakos on Thursday confirmed he died of stab wounds.

The 40-year-old priest disappeared from his parent’s Tala home in Matungulu, Machakos county on October 5, and his body recovered on October 16 from a shallow grave in a dry riverbed at Mbeere South, Embu county.

Police sources said the new development had left the detectives scratching their heads, contemplating on whether to conduct a second autopsy to confirm claims of the romantic relationship.

 “Just like in cases where claims of a sexual nature are made, we are considering a second round of examination on his body to confirm if there was any intercourse,” the source said.

A forensic examination of the suspect’s mobile phone has further reinforced his claims after the police discovered romantic text messages alleged to be between the preacher and the male teacher.

In one of the conversations dated October 6, the two referred to each other in romantic terms of “Hi dear” and “Hi my love”.

Special Crimes Prevention Unit officers on Thursday traveled to Gaitegi village in Embu county where they confirmed that Maingi was killed inside a rented house belonging to the suspect.

Police recovered a knife from a pit latrine in the suspect’s home.

This is the knife police believe was used by the killers to slit Maingi’s neck as well as stab him twice in the stomach.

The detectives have also gone out of their way to ascertain the behaviour of the man from villagers.

The sources said Maingi and the suspect have known each other since 2008 when they first met at a seminary in Machakos county.

They have since maintained close contact.

A villager told the police that the suspect is a staunch Catholic and a member of the local church choir.

The teacher who is not married is said to have turned to trading in cereals after failing to secure a teaching job.

On Thursday, the police arrested a motorbike operator in Kirinyaga over the murder.

Solomon Mutava, 44, is alleged to be the man who drove the priest’s vehicle from Embu to Malindi on the night of October 9.

This was a day after Maingi went missing.

Police have claimed that the suspect had asked Mutava to drive him to Malindi since he did not have a driving license despite knowing how to drive.

Sources said Mutava was being considered for a State witness in the case.

The first suspect was arrested in Malindi town on October 11 by officers from the DCI while driving the slain priest’s car.

Police divulged that the vehicle had its colour changed from white to grey.

It is this suspect who has led the police to the house where Maingi is believed to have died and also directed the officers to where the body was recovered.