Missing Dutch tycoon’s body found dumped in water tank

Friday, September 13th, 2019 20:53 |
The slain Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen. Photo/File

Benard Gitau and Hillary Mageka 

The puzzle surrounding the disappearance of Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen was Friday unraveled after his body was found in an underground water tank at his home in Kitsuru, Spring Valley, Nairobi.

Ironically, the palatial home of the deceased in a serene environment along Farasi Lane, a place he had called home for 32 years, was where he met his cruel death. 

Detectives from the Homicide Department at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) found the decomposing body 56 days after the business magnate was reported missing.

Addressing a press conference at the late Cohen’s residence, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) head George Kinoti described the murder as gruesome.

“Mr Cohen was murdered in his own house, it is a gruesome murder. They took their time to kill Cohen,” Kinoti told journalists on Friday.

Scene of crime experts carry the body of Mr Tom Cohen from the water tank.

The body was wrapped in a white body bag and produced a strong stench.

Detectives believe he was tortured and murdered and reported missing.

Asked by journalists the status of the body, Kinoti took a deep breath before saying Cohen had his hands and neck tied before his  body was dumped in an underground water tank in the compound which was earlier thought to be a sceptic tank.

“These people (murderers) are heartless. If it is for money, domestic strife it cannot move anyone for sure to that length,” the DCI quipped, obviously moved.

“The CCTV were installed after the murder and detectives will unearth the criminals behind it. So far we have two suspects and we will give more details on the second suspect later.”

Gabrielle Van Straten, sister to Tom Cohen and her husband Roy Straten (right) chat with an unidentified relative at the Kitsuru home on Friday, moments before the body was retrieved.

It was a beehive of activity as scenes of crime personnel, clad in all white protective gear and masks, retrieved the decaying body from the tank.

The stench was overwhelming and the mutilated body was too much to bear for the deceased’s sister, Gabrielle Van Straten.

It was not different for Kenya’s top sleuth Kinoti who fought tears several times as he briefed journalists.

The body of Mr Tom Cohen is loaded onto a police vehicle. Ditto for Photo Number 7

“It is unbelievable what she (wife) did to him. I did not see his body, it is terrible I don't have words, it was awful,” Cohen’s sister said, amid sobs.

Fighting tears, Gabrielle termed the murder disgusting.

Her husband Van Straten expressed gratitude to the Kinoti-led investigation team, terming their work incredible.

Former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri, who said he was Cohen’s great friend for more than 30 years, said he had a premonition over his death.

He added that before he was murdered, Cohen often told his friends that if he died, his wife Sarah should be responsible.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti addresses the media at the scene. He described the killing as gruesome.

“He was very concerned about his life. He never hid that if he died, Sarah would be involved. He had reported to the police,” said Muiruri.

He said if Sarah killed Cohen for his property, the homestead and the business of promoting golf, which she operated with the deceased, it would not happen.

“No golfer in Kenya can work with Sarah after killing Cohen. The business of promoting golf is dead,” he quipped.

A fortnight ago, police arrested Cohen’s wife, Sarah Wairimu Kamotho saying they believed she had a hand in the kidnapping and murder of her husband.

Wairimu had all along maintained that she believed that the husband had left the country and that he was fine wherever he was.

On September 12, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that she be charged with murder.

And when Wairimu was arraigned for murder, the  particulars on the charge sheet read: “On the night of 19th and 20th July within Nairobi County, in the Republic of Kenya jointly with others not before court, she murdered Tob Chichou Cohen”.

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