Nanyuki Pastor in Court for Murder of Missing Woman Found Five Years Later

January 31, 2024

On Tuesday, Pastor David Wagiita of the First Pentecostal Church in Nanyuki, was brought before Resident Judge Anthony Ndung’u in the High Court for the murder of Ruth Gathoni.

The clergyman however did not enter a plea to the charges related to the recent discovery of the remains of the deceased.

Ruth Gathoni was reported missing on August 18, 2018, with the family informing detectives that she was last seen with Pastor Wagiita in Nyeri Town, boarding a matatu bound for Nanyuki.

Following her disappearance, Wagiita was arrested and charged with abduction. However, he was acquitted by the court due to a lack of evidence.

This led the family to launch an extensive search for their missing relative. The search concluded on September 30 of last year when construction workers at Muthaiga Estate in Nanyuki Town unearthed a human skull in a shallow grave.

The workers, while digging a trench for a perimeter wall, also found hair believed to belong to a woman. This discovery took place in the same compound where Gathoni and the pastor reportedly spent a night before she was reported missing.

The late Ruth Gathoni’s children Anthony Kimondo (in white shirt) and Caroline Wanjiru (left) during Gathoni’s burial at Unjiru sub-location in Tetu, Nyeri County on January 9, 2024.
DNA Match

Detectives visited the scene and excavated additional remains, which were confirmed through DNA testing earlier this month to be those of the long-lost woman.

On January 9 of this year, Gathoni was finally laid to rest in a respectful burial ceremony at Unjiru village, Tetu Sub-county in Nyeri County.

In court yesterday, the prosecution requested the court to postpone the plea-taking for the State to assign a lawyer for the defendant.

Justice Ndung’u directed that the accused be brought before him on February 21 of this year to face formal charges of murder.

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