Star athlete Tirop to be buried at parents’ home on Saturday

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Uncles of Agnes Tirop take grasses as they perform the traditional cleansing ritual at the crime scene of Tirop’s home in Iten on Monday. Photo/AFP

Wycliff Kipsang

Slain star athlete Agnes Tirop will be buried at her rural home in Chesunet in Nandi county on Saturday.

People Daily has established that the funeral committee comprising representatives from Athletics Kenya, Nandi County Government and family have finalised the burial arrangements, which is said to cost Sh5 million.

Autopsy, which was conducted on Tuesday, revealed that the athlete died as a result of forced trauma and stab wounds to the neck.

Post-mortem  was conducted at the Iten County Referral Hospital Funeral Home in Elgeyo Marakwet by Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital pathologists and Dr Dorothy Njeru representing the government.

Family said they respect outcome of the autopsy, adding that their focus now is to give their daughter a befitting farewell.

“We have no objection to the autopsy results. Ours was just to establish the cause of our sister’s painful death,” said Tirop’s brother, Timothy Limo.

Cleansing ceremony 

Elders from Tirop’s husband, Ibrahim Rotich, were seeking reconciliation with the athlete’s family before her burial but the latter could hear none of it. 

Athlete’s family reportedly want the ongoing court case concluded.

On Monday, elders from Nandi conducted a cleansing ceremony in the house where Tirop was found murdered on Wednesday last week.

Elders, led by Kirwa Bitok, slaughtered a sheep and cleaned the house. The cultural rights came hours after Rotich, the main suspect in the athletes murder, was arraigned at the Iten Law Courts.

“We have cleansed the house. It is now ready for any other person to occupy. We have also cast a spell on those involved in the brutal murder of our daughter,” Bitok said.

Rotich, who appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Kutwa, however, did not take plea.

State Prosecutor Judith Ayuma sought 20 days to detain him, which was granted by the court.

“I hereby order that the suspect be detained at Eldoret Railways Police Station and mental a assessment be done at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital before facing trial,” directed Kutwa. Case will be mentioned on November 9 for further orders.

Rotich, the prime suspect in the murder of the 25-year-old two-time World Championships medalist, was apprehended by police in Changamwe after being trailed for two days on Thursday night.

Tirop was found dead in her bedroom in their home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet county last Wednesday with stab wounds.

According to police, Rotich is a key suspect in the death of the star Olympian whose death has shocked the country.

Rotich was arrested in one of the police stations within Changamwe Police Division where he had gone to visit a relative.

Numerous occasions

Neighbours of the athlete disclosed that the duo disagreed on numerous occasions.

“She had complained of an abusive relationship. In fact she had gone to take her belonging when the unfortunate incident happened,” a neighbour and Tirop’s close confidant said.

Detectives have since retrieved CCTV footage from the late athlete’s house that will help in tracing her last moments.

Police have not, however, shared the contents of the footage but they believe it will be crucial in the prosecution of Rotich. 

According to Keiyo North police boss Tom Makori, the athlete’s parents reported that she was missing, saying it was difficult to trace her whereabouts as her phone had been switched off.

“It is only when her parents reported that her husband had called them crying and regretting what he had done.

This prompted us to break into the house where we found the athlete lying in a pool of blood,” said Makori.

“The fact that he called the athlete’s parents regretting his action makes us believe that he had a hand in the death,” added Makori.

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