Kenya REOPENS murder case after claims UK soldier 'confessed'

Kenya REOPENS case into murder of prostitute, 21, found in a septic tank and urges UK to ‘collaborate’ days after reports claimed UK soldier ‘confessed’ to the 2012 killing

  • Body of Agnes Wanjiru, 21, was found at a hotel in Nanyuki, Kenya, in March 2012
  • British soldier accused of murder has allegedly been named by his fellow troops
  • Post resurfaced where troops appear to joke about the incident on social media
  • Kenyan police said today they are relaunching probe into the prostitute’s death 

British soldiers joked about the death of Agnes Wanjiru (pictured) several years after her body was found in a hotel sceptic tank in Nanyuki, central Kenya, it has been claimed

Kenyan police announced today they have reopened their investigation into the murder of a young mother who was last seen with a British soldier from a nearby military base.

Mother-of-one Agnes Wanjiru, 21, was found in a septic tank behind the Lions Court Hotel in Nanyuki, close to the British Army Training Unit Kenya camp, two months after she disappeared in March 2012. 

Ms Wanjiru, a prostitute, had reportedly been partying with soldiers on the night she went missing.

The Sunday Times last month reported that a British soldier – named only as Soldier X – confessed to killing Ms Wanjiru and showed comrades where he dumped her body, and the crime was reported but dismissed by military officials.  

The revelations have galvanised fresh calls for an investigation and justice for Ms Wanjiru.

‘I have directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to reopen the case and compile all the available evidence and witness accounts and ensure the case is concluded before a court of law,’ Kenyan police chief Hilary Mutyambai said on Twitter.

‘I am also urging the UK government to collaborate with us to conclude the case and administer justice.’ 

A general view of the main entrance of the Lion’s Court Lodge which is currently closed for renovations where most of British soldiers go for entertainment after their trainings in Nanyuki

The naked body of mother-of-one Ms Wanjiru was found in a septic tank at the Lions Court Inn hotel (pictured) in the village of Nanyuki, central Kenya, two months after her disappearance

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that a group of nine British soldiers joked about the death on social media several years after she was last seen entering a hotel room with Soldier X.

A member of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, the same regiment Soldier X reportedly served in, posted two photos of the Lions Court Hotel on Facebook.

The pictured included the caption ‘If you know, you know’ with a crying with laughter emoji.

A number of soldiers responded to the post with one posting a ghost emoji while another posted the words ‘septic tank.’

A third wrote: ‘Rum gaff’ – meaning ‘dodgy place’.

Soldier X posted an emoji of an angel. Other soldiers then responded with crying-laughing emojis, followed by a cartoon of a baby crying at a funeral from TV show Family Guy. 

One member then asked Soldier X if he gets ‘all choked up thinking about that place’ – an apparent reference to allegations he killed Agnes by choking her during sex.

He said: ‘Come to think of it I have had a sore throat today.’

When asked about the conversation on Facebook, Soldier X declined to comment.

He previously told the newspaper ‘rumours’ had been going round that he was responsible that ‘bordered on bullying’.


Nanyuki is heavily dependent on the income from British soldiers based at the Nyati Barracks

He added: ‘But there’s nothing you can do when you’re in the military, and people say stuff like that, but honestly, it’s full of lies.’

Referring to his army colleagues, he said: ‘There’s a lot of idiots, but there’s no real truth in it.’ 

The naked body of Ms Wanjiru – who left behind a five-month-old daughter – was found at the hotel nearly a decade ago by a maintenance worker after a foul smell.

The sex worker’s family has been pushing for answers and claims British and Kenyan authorities have staged a cover-up to maintain diplomatic relations.

The UK sends six infantry battalions a year for eight-week exercises to the nearby Nanyuki army base.

Ms Wanjiru’s body lay in the tank for two months before it was discovered, by which time the British troops had long since departed Kenya.

Members of the regiment allege the name of her killer was an open secret, with five different soldiers identifying the same person to the Sunday Times.

But the British Army has never held an inquiry and none of those present on the night have been questioned by superiors.

An inquest was held in Kenya in 2019 in which a judge ruled the mother was ‘murdered by British soldiers’ but no subsequent action was taken by the army.

Rose Wanyua (C) sister to Agnes Wanjiru who is said to have been killed by a British soldier, shows journalists pictures of her sister at her home in Majengo Slums in Nanyuki in Kenya

An MoD spokesman said: ‘In 2012, Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to the Kenyan Police. No further requests were received at that time.

‘Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we are aware that the Kenyan authorities are looking into this incident.

‘The jurisdiction for this investigation rests with the Kenyan Police, and we are currently in discussions with the Kenyan authorities offering our full support and cooperation with their inquiries.

‘Due to this being subject to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.’

On the tragic death of Agnes Wanjiru in Kenya in 2012, an MoD spokesman added: ‘The Defence Secretary is impatient with the pace of this and has directed full cooperation.

‘He is working with the Military and Kenyan Police to ensure their investigation is not impeded.’ 

The British defence ministry said it always worked in partnership with Kenyan police and its assistance would be forthcoming where needed.

‘The UK stands ready to support all requests as we have done since day one,’ the ministry said on Twitter.

Earlier, it said that contrary to reports it had only received a request for DNA samples from Kenyan authorities in late October and it was complying. 

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