Kenya: Police in Mombasa Holding Woman Over Teens Murder

Detectives in Mombasa are holding a key suspect linked to the murder of 19-year-old Najma Abdullahi, whose body was found in Changamwe last week.

Ms Faiza Ali Hassan is currently in the custody of Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers as preliminary findings have linked her to the murder of the teenager.

Investigations conducted so far indicates that Ms. Hassan had been spotted with the deceased on the evening of June 9, at Changamwe area, before she went missing only to be found unconscious days later at Dong Kundu area.

Ms. Hassan was Tuesday produced in court but the proceedings were adjourned after it emerged that she could neither communicate in English nor Kiswahili.

Police presented the woman before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet. Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji want Ms. Hassan detained for 14 days pending conclusion of investigations.

Investigating officer Mutwiri Kale said in an affidavit that the suspect fled to Eldoret , where she was spotted on June 10, after committing the offence in Mombasa.

"The suspect then travelled from Eldoret to Nairobi on noticing that detectives were looking for her," he said.

Mr Kale said that between June 10 and 13, Ms. Hassan managed to move from Mombasa to Eldoret, then Nairobi where she was arrested and escorted back to the Coastal city for interrogation.

Ms Abdullahi was found unconscious at Dongo Kunud by good Samaritans, who took her to Portreitz Sub-County hospital for medical attention. The teenager, however, passed on while undergoing treatment at the facility.

Relying on a police affidavit , State Counsel Ogega Bosibori asked the court to allow detectives to detain the suspect to enable them finalise their investigations.

The prosecutor said the investigations into the circumstances leading to the death of the deceased are at primary level and that the key suspect would assist police in finding the truth and motive behind the killing of Ms Abdullahi.

"Postmortem was done on June 12, and the results are yet to be collected from the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital," she said.

Also, Ms Bosibori told the court that the investigators are yet to record statements from crucial witnesses, who are not within Mombasa county.

"The investigating officer is yet to collect Ms Hassan's call data," she said ,adding that the call data will assist the investigators to trace the persons the suspect communicated with and facilitated her travel from Mombasa to Eldoret and to Nairobi.

When asked to respond to the police request, the woman stated that she only understands Somali. This was despite initially telling the court that she understands Kiswahili.

Ms Hassan told the court that she prefers to respond to the allegations in Kiswahili but later made a U-turn.

The magistrate was forced to adjourn the matter and directed that a Somali interpreter be availed, to enable the suspect to respond to the police's application to detain her for 14 days pending conclusion of investigations.

Sources privy to the ongoing investigations indicate that Ms Hassan is a foreigner and it is not clear how she traced the deceased to Mombasa.

The investigators are piecing information together to establish her relationship with the deceased and her family.

The suspect was arrested in Nairobi on June 13, and transferred to Mombasa the following day before she was booked at Changamwe police station under (Occurrence Book) OB number 66/14/06/2021 for the offence of murder.

The DCI officers from Jomvu traced Ms Hassan to the three destinations before rounding her up in Nairobi.

Ms Abdullahi is said to have gone missing on June 9. Police records shows that the she was last seen at Changamwe National Housing wearing a black dress, a white scarf and black rubber shoes.

The matter will be mentioned on June 17.

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