How Edwin Chiloba, an LGBTQ activist, died

Image: Jackton Odhiambo with late boyfriend, Edwin Chiloba

Dr. Johansen Oduor, a senior government pathologist, testified in an Eldoret court that LGBTQ activist Edwin Kiptoo, known as Chiloba, was murdered by being choked to death. Speaking virtually before Justice Reuben Nyakundi, Dr. Oduor stated that Chiloba died from asphyxia caused by three socks stuffed in his mouth and a pair of trousers tightly tied around his mouth and nose.

The prime suspect in the murder is Jackton Odhiambo, also known as Lizer, who was a friend of the deceased. Dr. Oduor described the murder as brutal, noting that Chiloba, a 26-year-old University of Eldoret student at the time, suffered severe injuries. During the post-mortem examination, Dr. Oduor observed that Chiloba’s body was decomposing and emitting a foul odor.

According to Dr. Oduor, Chiloba had three socks deeply lodged in his mouth, and a jeans trouser leg was tightly bound around his mouth and nose. He also had bruises on the inside of his upper and lower lips and on the left side of his tongue. Dr. Oduor noted that there were no signs of defensive injuries on Chiloba’s body.

Samples from the deceased were collected for further analysis at the government laboratory to compare with samples taken from the accused. Corporal Mercy Kathure, the Investigative Officer (IO) in the case, recounted receiving information about a metallic box dumped along Kipkenyo-Kaptinga road in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County, on the morning of January 3, 2023.

Upon opening the box, the officers discovered Chiloba’s decomposing body. The body was transported to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) mortuary, where it was identified as belonging to the LGBTQ activist Edwin Kiptoo. Jackton Odhiambo, who was last seen with the deceased at a club in Eldoret and cohabited with him, was arrested as the prime suspect.

A taxi driver who rented out the car used to transport the body, as well as two minors who assisted in loading the box into the vehicle, were also arrested but later released after agreeing to testify as state witnesses. Odhiambo denied the allegations of killing Chiloba, with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship, during an incident that occurred between December 31, 2022, and January 3, 2023, at Noble Breeze Apartments in Chebisaas area, Moiben sub-county, Uasin Gishu County.

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