A court has ordered two suspects be detained for 10 days in connection with the kidnapping and killing of Githongo senior resident magistrate Caroline Kemei’s daughter Maribel Kapolon.
Benson Marangu and Francis Otundo will remain in police custody, following the prosecutor’s request.
Meru chief magistrate Hannah Ndung’u said, “Due to the … public interest of this matter and in light of the submission by the state, I grant the DCI 10 days to complete investigations.”
Harrison Kiarie represented the Director of Public Prosecutions, Eliud Mutuma defended the suspects.
A postmortem was to be conducted today. Maribel’s body was found on Sunday.
The pathologist from Meru Level 5 Hospital has been in touch with chief government pathologist Johanssen Odour, who was to appear or send a representative today.
Maribel’s body was found in Gitoro Forest. She was a Standard 4 pupil at Consolata Primary School. Kapolon was kidnapped on Total Road in Meru, near the county commander’s office and adjacent to the county commissioner’s residence.
The nine-year-old girl went missing on September 6. Priests, legal officers, judges, judicial staff and magistrates attended a mass at Meru Cathedral yesterday.
They called for quick investigations and punishment for all those involved.
Meru judge Alfred Mabea said such acts will not deter judges and magistrate from performing their duties. Mabea described Maribel as a God-fearing and committed child whose death is hard to accept.
“When one of us is hurt we are all pained. Let it be known that no amount of intimidation, threat and terrorist acts directed to us will stop us from performing our oath of office.”
Judge Francis Gikonyo said, “How cruel can a human being be to set out to commit such acts of murdering a defenceless and innocent girl? It is painful and absurd,” Gikonyo said.
Justice will be served
Catholic Peace and Justice Commission chairman, who is also the Cathedral’s father in charge, David Kaberia, said the culprits will not know peace until justice is served.
He termed Kapolon’s murder an act of cowardice. Kaberia said it is disheartening that a defender of justice can have such an experience. Kapolon will be buried on Saturday at Kipkaren, Uasin Gishu.
Her classmates described her as a generous friend and gifted athlete. Kapolon’s mother Kemei has worked in Meru for six years.
Kapolon’s classmates eulogised her as a tough goalkeeper during soccer games. Her death was a blow to other pupils, especially those whom she inspired.
“We were lucky to have met someone like Maribel. She was always there when we needed her help, especially in [improving our] handwriting,” read a statement by the pupils read by a representative.
On Tuesday, Meru county commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said the incident is an isolated case, not to be viewed as an attack against the Judiciary.
Witnesses said she was kidnapped while heading home after being dropped by the school bus. They said she was invited into a car by a stranger she may have thought was familiar.
Others said she was with three others when a stranger called her by her name.