At 22, Regina Wairimu, a fourth-year telecommunication and electrical engineering student at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri County had resolved to become a mother. Such was her resolve that she asked for a deferment of studies from January to September 2023.
At the time of commencement of the deferment, her postnatal clinic records show that she was 7.5 months pregnant, and in one of her notebooks is a Valentine’s day message that reads: “To my unborn son… I love you. My Baby Daddy is bringing complications since he is powerful and influential… But I must give birth to you and show you momma love.”
But it was not to be… the giving birth part of it went awry. On February 12, at 11 am, she had been declared dead and her baby was found inside a travelling bag, also dead.
It was the start of a nightmare for her parents, friends and many others, as the search for answers started.
Her father, Kenneth Kinyanjui, told Nation.Africa that he received a call on February 12 at around 10am from a female caller who told him, “Your daughter is unwell and needs urgent medical attention.”
He notified his wife, Elizabeth Wambui, and together they abandoned going to church and set off for Nyeri County to be at their daughter’s side.
Forty-five minutes later, the parents got another call that notified them that “your daughter is very sick” and they asked to speak to Regina, “but we were notified that she was not able to speak,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
They were urged to hurry to the university’s health centre where she had been rushed for emergency treatment.
At 11am, the parents were told that the patient was no longer at the university’s health centre, and had, instead, been transferred to the Nyeri County Referral hospital.
At 11:10am, another call came through in which they were asked to report to the Nyeri police station.
Confused, they headed to the police station and upon arrival, they were met by a woman who introduced herself as a nurse.
“I want to break bad news to you; Regina is dead,” she said. Mr Kinyanjui asked: “What was the cause of death?” The nurse said she didn’t know.
Mr Kinyanjui wondered at the crude way in which the news of his daughter’s death was broken to him and his wife.
“My wife had all of a sudden become sick. It was too much for her. Other family friends and relatives had arrived. It was now a family emergency. We first sought a place for my wife to rest as we had a quick meeting. And we decided that we had to see the body to identify it,” Mr Kinyanjui said.
Officers from the police station accompanied them to the mortuary.
“And there she was, lying so peacefully in death, with her right palm resting on her heart, and the other on her side.
“We all cried … and questions started swirling in our minds. The police officers announced that they were now taking charge after we positively identified her,” said the grieving father.
Police said Regina had been pronounced dead at the university’s health centre. She had been taken there in a taxi by two women who said they were her friends.
According to a preliminary investigation report that Nation.Africa has seen, Regina had been taken from a rental house in Kangemi estate, Nyeri.
“Scene of crime personnel visited the house in question and made the following preliminary findings: There were blood stains on the carpet and in the bathroom of the bedsitter. There had been a deliberate effort to wash it off. It was established that Regina, accompanied by two ladies, arrived in the room at around 2 am. The room belonged to one of the ladies in her company,” the report reads.
In the follow-up questions, the report notes that the two women said the stains were menstrual blood from Regina.
The two women said they met up with Regina in a Nyeri bar, where she had gone to meet her “influential baby daddy”, said the report.
At the bar, they were joined by the resident DJ, who also happens to be a friend of the influential man.
“The two ladies, Regina and the baby daddy are said to have left the club to yet another one and at around 1.30am, minus the baby daddy, the three ladies left,” the report reads.
Despite Regina living in nearby hostels, the three opted to go to a room belonging to one of the women, even though it was farther from the club.
The two women said that at the house, they all slept, but at around 5 am, Regina woke up complaining of stomach and backache, for which she took painkillers.
“She further complained of being hungry and was served some tea and slices of bread … But by 10 am her condition had worsened to a point where her two friends opted to take her to hospital,” the notes read.
The room they were in is on the third floor, but while going down, to the second floor, Regina is recorded as having been unable to walk and sat down on the stairs.
“The two ladies report that they walked out to get a taxi and with the help of two male tenants, carried her to the waiting taxi that took them to the university’s health centre. The personnel at the centre reported that she was pronounced dead on arrival and on examination, she had a sanitary towel on her,” the report reads.
It was then that the health facility put her in an ambulance to be taken to the Nyeri Level Five Referral.
“But the ambulance driver noted that there were two safari bags that had been removed from the taxi that ferried Regina to the health centre and had been left unattended in the compound,” says the report.
The two women did not appear to want to acknowledge the two bags “but the ambulance driver took them up and loaded them beside Regina” the report notes.
At the Nyeri Referral hospital, the bags were opened and the contents shocked everyone. “In one bag was a dead foetus and the other contained bloody pieces of clothing,” the report adds.
The police visited the house where Regina was said to have been ferried from the hospital.
On February 17, Dr Bill Muriuki conducted post-mortems on Regina’s body, as well as on the baby.
“The uterus contains products of conception … placenta seen … walls of the uterus have multiple lesions seen,” says the report.