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Did police officer commit suicide by setting himself ablaze… or was it arson?

Police are investigating the death of a 46-year-old man who allegedly committed suicide at his house in Kieni West, Nyeri County.

According to Mwihoyo Location Chief Lydia Wambui Wachira, James Mwangi Nderitu is said to have set himself ablaze in his bedroom on Monday, August 9.

Nderitu who worked at CIPU Athi River Services and attached to Ngethu Water Treatment Plant in Kiambu, was on a seven-day pass leave. He was at his rural home.

A report filed at Kanyagia Police Patrol Base says Nderitu was last seen by his brother Joseph Gacheru Nderitu. “They greeted each other and later entered his three-roomed house,” reads the police report.

At around 10 am, however, villagers were alerted to his home after one Festus Nderitu saw smoke coming from the deceased’s house.

They were able to put out the fire which had not spread to the other rooms. However, the deceased was found partly burnt while lying face down on the bed and fully dressed.

“No suicide note was found and motive known,” adds the police report.

Police officers from the patrol base went to the scene and moved Nderitu’s body to Mary Immaculate Mortuary awaiting postmortem. Kieni West detectives have started investigations to determine whether it was a case of arson or suicide.


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