WINDHOEK - Nine-year-old Zimbabwean-born girl, whose charred body was found in a municipal rubbish skip a week ago, was dead by the time her body was set alight, the post mortem revealed.
Head of criminal investigations Nelius Becker said there was no evidence of soot in her lungs or trachea (windpipe) and this indicates she was already dead by the time her body was burnt.
Becker, who is the leading investigator in this case, told New Era the cause of the girl’s death, identified as Akundaishe Natalie Chipombo, is related to trauma to her head and lower abdomen. He said there was a lot of subdural bleeding.
According to online health.harvard.edu, subdural bleeding develops shortly after serious blow to the head.
The blood accumulated rapidly, causing pressure to rise within the brain. This can result in loss of consciousness, paralysis or death, it was explained.
Becker said with those injuries, Chipombo would have succumbed over 24 hours unless she got medical assistance. Alongside the post-mortem, an x-ray was also carried out. Becker said the x-ray was done but they are still waiting for the doctor’s official post-mortem report.
Becker elaborated an x-ray is carried out as standard procedure when dealing with incidents of children who were abused and died, which will indicate possible fractures on her body.
Regarding the male suspect, identified as Edward Nkata, Becker said he could not say with certainty when he will appear in court but will appear as soon as he is discharged from hospital. He is talking – he is not in ICU or facing a life-threatening condition.
Becker told media this week that Chipombo was reportedly assaulted on several occasions, according to the neighbours.
When asked what the police picked up through their investigations as motive of her killing, Becker replied they haven’t yet interviewed the main male suspect. “What we can say is there was an assault that went wrong. We cannot say what the motive is at this point in time because we are busy with investigations,” he stated.
Nkata was involved in a car accident last Sunday when a police vehicle in which he was being transported back to Windhoek overturned near Otjiwarongo. Nkata, alongside his wife Caroline Nkata, who resided with Chipombo, tried to flee the country following the incident.
The Nkatas, Chipombo and three children shared accommodation in Rhino park area, as well as with her mother Rachel Kureva and another toddler. Edward is not the father of the deceased girl, police said.
Caroline told the court last week during their first appearance that she was present when her husband (Edward) beat Chipombo and after she was dead, he forced Caroline to accompany him to buy paraffin. The man disposed of the body and set it alight. The Nkatas were spotted two Fridays ago dragging a wheelie bin in the eastern direction of Ooievaar Street and witness felt it was suspicious because it was dark in the night. The couple was also caught on municipal surveillance in the area.
A third suspect, believed to be Chipombo’s biological mother and a registered nurse, Rachel Kureva, was also arrested and appeared in court alongside Nkata last Wednesday, where they were both denied bail. The two women’s case was postponed to 17 April.
2020-02-03 07:21:10 | 24 days ago