In Summary
  • From the CCTV footage, detectives hope to be able to identify the person who picked Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor from the hotel.
  • Police sources privy to the investigations yesterday disclosed that there could have been frantic attempts by Mr Oyamo to reach Ms Otieno soon after news of Mr Oduor’s narrow escape from the kidnappers emerged.

Detectives investigating the brutal murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno are following several clues as they seek to unmask her killers and their financiers.

On Saturday, the detectives narrowed down on Ms Otieno’s final movements before she was brutally murdered, inspecting several places she visited before meeting her tragic death.

The detectives first went to Graca Hotel in Rongo, Migori County, where Ms Otieno and Nation journalist Barack Oduor last visited on the fateful Monday before they were kidnapped by unknown persons who are believed to have murdered the 26-year-old student in a thicket near Oyugis township.

The detectives also visited Samanga near Kendu Bay in Homa Bay County and inspected the spot where Mr Oduor escaped from the abductors by jumping out of a moving vehicle, and the homestead where he sought refuge.

They also visited and interrogated officers at the Kadel Police Station where Mr Oduor first reported their abduction and recorded a statement.

CCTV FOOTAGE

At Graca Hotel, the team of more than 10 special investigators from the Homicide department took with them a hard-disk for surveillance cameras (CCTV) for further investigations.

A manager at the hotel who declined to give his name had a hard time explaining to the detectives that the CCTV cameras were faulty on the day Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor visited the hotel and were kidnapped a few metres away.

He further said he was unsure whether all the 15 cameras were working on the fateful Monday.

“The detectives asked me to cooperate with them and questioned why the dates were different, pointing to a possible tampering with the CCTV,” he told Sunday Nation.

He however denied tampering with the video surveillance but revealed that they had called in a technician on Tuesday, a day after Ms Otieno’s kidnapping, to repair the cameras.

“We called in a technician though not the one who originally installed the CCTV. The cameras have been faulty for the past six months and we have tried in vain to have the original technician fix the mess,” the tall, slender, dark skinned man said.

FINDING SUSPECTS

He claimed that the new technician could have reset the dates for the video surveillance and was still unsure whether one could view the recordings.

“They carried the hard disk, so they will be able to see if the material they need is there or not,” he said.

He lamented that he had not had peace since the kidnapping of Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor because of constant questioning by detectives.

Graca Hotel is a two-storey building with about 60 rooms, a small bar and restaurant. The main building has a CCTV camera overlooking the entrance gate.

It has two gates, one for vehicles entering and the other for exiting vehicles.

From the CCTV footage, detectives hope to be able to identify the person who picked Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor from the hotel and possibly, the identities of the occupants of the vehicle used to abduct them.

OYAMO ARRAIGNED

They will also be able to pick the registration number of the vehicle the kidnappers used if the cameras captured anything on the evening of the kidnapping.

Police have since arrested and arraigned Mr Michael Oyamo, the personal assistant of Migori Governor Okoth Obado, in a Homa Bay court in connection with the abduction of Mr Oduor and Ms Otieno and the latter’s eventual murder.

But Mr Obado has denied any links to the matter.

On Friday, Mr Obado dispatched Nairobi lawyer Cliff Ombeta and pathologist Fredrick Otieno to represent him during the autopsy of Ms Otieno, who was stabbed eight times and may have also been raped. “We represent the interests of Governor Obado,” Mr Ombeta said.

“I do not know what time Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor entered the hotel. No one bothered because there were no boarding guests.

"We did not bother to check the vehicles that got into the hotel on Monday evening because we have many people we serve and it would not be our duty to do to that anyway,” the hotel manager said.

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