37-year-old Kenyan man ‘burns self’ to death

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Police in Borabu, Nyamira County are investigating circumstances surrounding the death of a 37-year-old man, who is suspected to have set his house on fire while locked inside.

Julius Muliro Otieno, a casual labourer at Sasini Tea Estate in Bogikoyo Village, was found dead in his one-roomed residential structure on Friday afternoon, 9 April.

Otieno’s neighbour, Joshua Osebe, had noticed smoke surging from the deceased’s house, prompting him to mobilise residents, who broke down Otieno’s door and found his burnt body on the floor.

Police suspects that Otieno locked his door from the inside at 4: pm before setting his cotton bedding on fire. The resultant fire spread to other items in the house, in the process burning Otieno, who police believe was on a suicide mission.

Otieno lived alone in the house, his neighbour, Osebe, said.

Nyamira County Commissioner, Amos Mariba, said Otieno sustained severe burn injuries, which caused his death.

Police officers from Matuu post arrived at the scene and took Otieno’s body to Nyansiongo Mission Hospital’s morgue.

An investigation file of the incident has been opened, said Mariba.

Neighbours described Otieno as a reserved man, who rarely interacted with them.

Evans Maranga, a neighbour, said it is “likely Otieno fatally burnt himself due to life-related frustrations”.

“Otieno often took alcohol, and it was rare for one to see him in his house during the day,” said Maranga, adding that “On most occasions, he’d leave in the morning and return in the evening.”

It is, however, yet to be ascertained if Otieno indeed died by suicide, or in a normal fire accident.

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