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Preacher attacked in Kenya? No, bloodied man in photo is Ivy Wangechi murder accused – after vigilante assault

Does a photo of an injured man covered in blood show a preacher, or the man accused of murdering Kenyan medical student Ivy Wangechi?

On 9 April 2019 Wangechi, a sixth-year student at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, had just finished her practicals when she was attacked in broad daylight. She was hit on the head with an axe, and her throat slit.

Her attacker was later identified as Wangechi’s childhood friend Naftali Kinuthia. He tried to escape but was caught by boda boda bike taxi drivers, who beat him up.

A photo of a bloodied Kinuthia was taken soon after.

Preaching the good news?

Six days later, on 15 April, a Facebook user posted the photo on a group page with more than 840,000 members, claiming it showed a preacher.

“He was stoned while preaching good news to the people,” the user wrote. “Type quick recovery.”

A reverse image search confirms that the photo is of Kinuthia – not a preacher.

Images and video after boda boda assault

One blog post features a number of images of the attacker after he was caught and beaten up by the boda boda drivers. A YouTube video shows a bloodied and disoriented Kinuthia after the vigilante assault.

In both the blog and video, Kinuthia’s build, facial features and clothes are the same as the “preacher” in the Facebook photo.

Kinuthia was reportedly rescued by university security. He suffered a skull fracture and soft tissue injury, according to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO Wilson Arwasa.

‘Helping detectives in investigations’

Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation has confirmed on Twitter that Kinuthia is the suspect.

“Detectives have commenced investigations following the brutal killing of Ms Ivy Wangechi - a sixth year Medical student at Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital,” the tweet reads.

“The suspect, 28-year-old Naftali Njahi Kinuthia, was arrested & is helping detectives in investigations.” – Dancan Bwire (24/04/19)

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