When Peris Nyaguthii, 19, left home with her mother for church on Sunday, she was in high spirits.
Her plans were to attend prayers before reporting back to college on September 5. Peris, a first-year student studying ICT at Tetu Vocational Training Centre, was scheduled to join her peers for the second semester of studies.
Little did she know that the church service would be her last.
Peris is believed to have been raped before being killed on her way back home. Her body was found wrapped in a gunny bag on Monday.
Her mother, Ann Mwangi, said Peris was last seen on Sunday evening leaving the local market centre.
She said she spent most of her Sunday with her, attending church, although the two parted ways after the service.
“She said that her younger brother, a secondary school student, had sent her to buy him perfume which she could not find at our nearby shopping centre known as Wadubi,” Ms Mwangi said.
Peris then proceeded to Gateri shopping centre, which is about three kilometres from her home.
Her mother says that when her daughter failed to return home by 7pm that evening, she got worried.
“It was unusual for her to get home late considering that she always had a ‘curfew’ to be back home by 6pm,” she explained.
The two shared a phone and Ms Mwangi’s SIM card was in her daughter’s phone.
A few hours later with no signs of her daughter, she sought help from a neighbour who lent her a phone to call Peris. But Peris’s phone had been switched off.
“I asked for her whereabouts from my friends at Gateri shopping centre who said that she was last seen at the market at around 5pm,” Ms Mwangi said.
The family would later come to learn that before the incident, Peris had been on a phone call with a college friend. In the phone conversation, Peris told her friend that she was afraid as she was walking home alone at night and in fear.
“She said that she had tried looking for a motorbike to take her home but could not find one,” the deceased’s mother said.
At one point, the mother said that her daughter’s friend told her that Peris thought she was being followed but minutes later told her friend that the person following her was somebody she knew.
It is for this reason that the family believes the attacker is someone she knew.
Her body was found dumped in a Napier grass plantation, about 800 metres from her home in Kamahohu village in Tetu sub-county. Local farmers walking to a tea plantation in the wee hours stumbled upon the body.
Peris was half-naked, and part of her torso was filled with soil, an indication that she could have been attacked and made to lie on the ground as she was raped.
The family has called on the government to intervene while asking the police to fast-track their investigations.
Police told theNation.Africathey were investigating the incident and trying to track the deceased’s missing mobile phone.