After finding a supermarket smartcard belonging to Mary Mwikali Kavuu inside the room where German Herman Detering was killed at Moriama Cottages, detectives from Malindi listed her as a person of interest.
They later tracked her movements using her phone signals, which pointed that she was in Ukunda, Kwale County, about 150 kilometres from Malindi, where the crime was committed.
On the day of her arrest, Ms Kavuu was located inside a bar in Ukunda drinking alcohol in the company of friends.
Sources told the Sunday Nation that detectives had to trick the suspect by using a person known to her, to call her outside to avoid creating a scene inside the highly crowded bar, before arresting her.
“Immediately she came outside the bar, detectives arrested her,” said the source, adding, “she was later taken to the nearby police station for interrogation before proceeding to her home for a search.”
Yesterday, detectives from the scene of crime, homicide, forensic unit and government chemist sealed off Moriema Cottages in Malindi, where the 78-year-old was brutally murdered inside his hotel room last week.
The team toured the scene to collect more evidence on the murder of Detering a day after the prime suspect, Ms Kavuu, was arrested.
Ms Kavuu is alleged to have been a lover to the slain tourist and hotel workers said that the two had spent time at the hotel until late at night, drinking alcohol and chewing miraa, near the swimming pool before
retiring to Mr Deterings’ room together.
The body of the German was later found lying in a pool of blood on Tuesday evening around 6pm. The room attendant became suspicious when he failed to open the door the whole day, prompting him to peep through the window.
Police are pursuing a number of theories, including allegations of self- defence.
However, detectives are yet to recover the weapon used to kill the tourist that left him with deep cuts in his body.
Police suspect the killer might have hidden or escaped with the murder weapon after they failed to find it at the crime scene and around the hotel.
Mr Ken Kazungu, the Moriema Cottages manager and night receptionist said: “We discovered the lifeless body on Monday evening after the guest failed to open his room for cleaning as usual,” he said, adding: “he has been waking up at around 8am daily to swim before doing anything else.”
On the fateful day when Detering met his death, Mr Kazungu said he spent the day with a young woman who was said to be his girlfriend, drinking beer until around 1pm.
“The two seemed happy,” he said, adding “we never suspected anything fishy until in the following evening when one of the workers peeped through the window after he failed to show up and saw him lying in a pool of blood.”
Interestingly, Mr Kazungu who was at the reception and the security guard at the gate said they never heard any commotion or noise and did not even see the woman leaving the hotel.
Mr Kazungu said a room steward had knocked on the door at 10am with the aim of cleaning it but it was locked and he became suspicious after the guest failed to open the door during the day.
Police used a spare key to open the door because the other key could not be traced.
Mr Detering is said to have been running a string of businesses in South Coast and also Malindi, where he operated a bar between 2012 and 2015.
The bar has since closed, and the deceased then moved to Ukunda.
BY CHARLES LWANGA