Family seeks justice for their murdered daughter

Members of the public during a demonstration to demand justice for Jacinta who is suspected to have been murdered.Picture :Omondi Gwengi
Members of the public during a demonstration to demand justice for Jacinta who is suspected to have been murdered.Picture :Omondi Gwengi

Why did someone kill our daughter? What did she do to deserve this treatment? Why did the girl’s uncle flee his home before the burial? Why is it taking too long to bring the suspects to book?

These are some of the questions going through the minds of Nyadawa Anyango and Eunice Aoko, parents of Jacinta Amondi, a nine-year-old pupil who attended Wang’arot Primary School in Rarieda Sub-county, Siaya County.

Amondi went missing while playing at her uncle’s home only for her body to be found dangling on a rooftop in the evening.

According to eyewitnesses, she had bruises on the hand and dirt on the head, signs that she might have been killed elsewhere before her body was hanged.

There was no trace of a suicide note when her body was found at around 6pm.

The traumatic journey started on March 30 at about 1pm. After attending school, Amondi went to play with other children at her uncle’s home, just about 10 metres away from her home.

“When she came back from school, I gave her food and left to play with the other children in the neighbourhood. I was shocked to learn that my daughter had committed suicide,” said Aoko who eulogised her daughter as joyful, social and bright in class. She says Amondi had not shown any indication of frustration that could have pushed her to commit suicide.

Even though the young girl was laid to rest on May 7, the family’s ordeal is far from over.

“We were told by the children she was playing with that she called one of them to help her as she was being beaten but they couldn’t access the house because it was locked from inside,” said the tearful Aoko.

A post-mortem conducted on April 6, 2017 at the Bondo Sub-county Hospital indicated that the girl died from injuries inflicted on her head with a blunt object.

Even though the family witnessed the post-mortem, a relative, Maurice Bolo told Reject that police have denied them hard copies of the report.

“From the results, it is clear someone murdered this child and is trying to make it look like suicide,” Bolo said.

It is because of this that angry villagers invaded and set a blaze the home of the victim’s uncle Peter Oindi, whom they suspect to be behind the brutal death of the girl. The suspect and his family members were not at home during the incident.

According to sources, they had disappeared one week before Amondi’s burial after suspecting that the public was targeting them.

They also feel the case has not been handled well and accuse the police of being reluctant to get to the bottom of the matter.

Even though security officers were called and recorded statements, and crime scene officers dusted the place for fingerprints, the suspects were arrested, locked up and later released under unclear circumstances.

“So far we are not getting requisite support from the police and law enforcement agencies,” said Bolo.

According to the victim’s father, Nyadawa, key suspects were released under unclear circumstances and investigations seem to have either slowed down or stalled showing worrying indicators of a possible cover-up or meddling in the investigations.

“We are very much concerned because less than two years ago, a similar case happened in the same home and the suspects have never been brought to book,” he told Reject.

However, Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) in Rarieda Johanna Chebii said investigations were still going on.

“We are not reluctant as the family claims. We arrested the parents and uncle of the deceased because they were not willing to talk about her death,” said Chebii.

He added that since the family was present during the post-mortem, a hard copy of the report was not necessary.

The family is now looking for assistance from human rights organisations in a bid to seek justice for Amondi.

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