Widow under probe over murder of Dutch tycoon

Monday, June 7th, 2021 00:00 |
Dutch national Herman Rouwenhorst. Photo/PD/File

Homicide detectives from the Directorate of criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters have taken over investigations into the murder of Dutch tycoon Herman Rouwenhorst, who was found dead on Friday at his Shanzu apartment.

The detectives, who arrived on Saturday, are collaborating with those from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) who work closely with investigative and operational units, in providing analytical assistance of mobile phone records.

Detectives are said to have confiscated mobile phones of the widow Riziki Cherono and a caretaker identified as Hamisi Bambo to track call records as they seek to unearth the truth about the death of the real estate developer.

One call

In her statement, Cherono told police that five men had gained entry into their home in Rocco apartments and found her and husband sleeping in the bedroom.

She said the masked men, who were armed with blunt objects, attacked the night guard and left him unconscious before gaining entry into the house. The guard later died in hospital.

According to her, the men did not demand anything from her husband. She said they only ordered her to leave the bedroom and go to the parking lot where she claims to have been bundled into her car and her hands tied with a string. The car was then and driven towards Serena Hotel, she said.

She said that after pleading with the abductors for hours, she was allowed to make one call, which she did to her caretaker Hamisi Bambo and informed him that she had been kidnapped and that her husband was in danger.

Cherono said she instructed Bambo to rush home and check on her husband. 

Main suspects

“Three men remained in the house while one drove my car and the other one ensured I remained silent in the back seat.

Later, they tied my hands to the steering wheel, taped my mouth and left at around 5am,” she said.

In his statement to police, Bambo said he alert neighbours to assist him take the unconscious guard to hospital. 

He said he did not know whether Rouwenhorst had been killed or not at the time.

The body of the Dutch national will undergo a postmortem today at the Padya Memorial Hospital. 

Members of his family are also expected to arrive in the country this week to follow up on the matter.

Rouwenhorst, 55, had invested in real estate in Nyali and Bamburi.

According to Coast region police Commander Paul Ndambuki, detectives are treating the widow and the caretaker as suspects. 

“Criminal investigation officers are interrogating the woman in connection with the murder of her husband and a caller who informed police about a woman who claimed to have been kidnapped and abandoned in a thicket near Serena area with her hands tied to the steering wheel,’’ Ndambuki said.

The detectives are working closely with those from the DCI Kisauni sub-county to enable them piece together evidence that can lead to the arrest of suspects.

Cherono, 36, and Rouwenhorst were married for 13 years and had three children. 

The Dutch’s murder comes barely a week after the death of Krabbe Deitter, a German, whose body was discovered on the ground floor of a five-story building in Bamburi.

Police are looking for his girlfriend Wilter Kerubo.

Ndambuki assured foreigners living in the region of their safety. 

“There is no cause for alarm, this was just an isolated case and we assure them their security is guaranteed,” he said.

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