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Several hundred Kenyan and international athletes took to the streets of Iten Monday to protest the increasing gender-based violence targeting women across the country.
The protest happened due to the discovery of the decomposing body of Damaris Muthee last week. She was found at a home in Iten. No apparent physical injuries were identified, however, she appears to have been smothered by the use of a pillow. Her alleged Ethiopian partner is now a fugitive and is identified as Eskinder Hailemariam. He is the prime suspect.
An investigation found that the cause of death was “general strangulation resulting in asphyxiation and eventual death.” Interpol and Foreign Affairs Ministry have been requested to step in and help.
Koki Foi, an Ethiopian Athlete is reportedly murdered a Kenyan born Barhain athlete Damaris Muthee Mutua two day ago at Iten.— Rotich (@robaakipyator) April 19, 2022
The protests were led by four-time New York City Marathon champion, Mary Keitany, Viola Lagat, and Kenyan-born Romanian athlete Joan Chelimo among others. They marched through the streets of Iten calling for strict laws and setting up of a gender-based violence outreach.
Last year the killing of two-time world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop ignited fury in Kenya. Her death was due to a stabbing by her husband, who fled police, but was eventually captured.
Out of respect for Tirop, Athletics Kenya announced that all athletics competitions in the country would be suspended for two weeks.
Julius Yego told the BBC, “We just lost a great talent. She was such a strong woman and committed to what she was doing.”
Apparently, she loved dairy farming.
Kenyan police chased and arrested Ibrahim Rotich in Mombasa. Police tracked Rotich using his mobile number after he apparently used an old SIM card in a new phone. He was offline prior to turning the phone on.
Apparently, the two had been arguing and had marital issues.
It was widely reported that she died from apparent stab wounds to her abdomen. Kenyan police indicated that she was found in her bed with wounds to her neck as well. Rotich called her parents to tell them that he had done something terrible and fled.