Kin mystified after mother is found dead in guest house
Before leaving home at 2am on Thursday last week, Phanice Ayuma was uneasy. She kept opening the door and closing it for about an hour before she finally went to the gate, opened it and returned the keys to the house.
For two days, the family of the ambulance driver at Nakuru Annex Hospital did not hear from her and her phone had been switched off. On the fourth day, her body was found in a morgue.
The evening before she disappeared, Ms Ayuma, 52, had dinner with the family at their Nakuru West estate before she went to bed, said her daughter Stephanie Imbosa.
“At around 1am, I was woken up by movements in her room. She kept opening the door, which is unusual for her,” she said.
“I did not bother to ask her what was wrong because I assumed that one of our relatives may have contacted her to open the gate, since most of them would come home because my dad was admitted in hospital at that time.”
When Ms Imbosa woke up in the morning, she realised that her mother was not in her bedroom. Her handbag sat where she normally placed it, though her favourite pair of shoes were missing.
“Immediately, I got concerned and blamed myself for assuming that everything was okay. That is one mistake I made, because the events of that night remain a mystery. Maybe if I had asked her what was making her uneasy, I would have saved her.”
Ms Imbosa suspects that someone known to her mother might have called her and asked her to go outside.
Later in the day, she tried to contact her mother through her phone but it was not answered, and that is when she realised that something was amiss. Her mother also failed to return home that Thursday, sending her daughter into panic.
“I went to the hospital where my dad was admitted to ask him if she had visited him but he said she had not.”
She then proceeded to make a missing-person report at the Kaptembwa Police Station.
On the night Ms Ayuma disappeared, she had arrived home at 7pm, made dinner for her family and retired to bed. The conversation the two had, Ms Imbosa said, featured normal mother-daughter talk and nothing hinted that she was disturbed.
In fact, she was happy after being notified that her husband would be discharged from the hospital after a two-week stay.
“I was free with my mother. We used to share a lot. I just wished she could have spoken her heart out,” said the third-born in a family of four siblings.
Ms Ayuma’s husband, Allan Gollova, said he last saw his wife of 31 years that Wednesday when she visited him at the hospital.
Two days after being discharged, he received a call from Annex Hospital asking him to go to the facility.
“When they called, I thought my medical report was ready, only to be told that my wife had been killed and that her body was at the Nakuru city mortuary. It was devastating news,” Mr Gollova said.
The family claimed that police had not told them what happened to their relative and how her body ended up at the mortuary. They have asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to expedite their investigations.
On Tuesday, Nakuru County Deputy Police Commander Joseph Tonui told the Nation that the body of Ms Ayuma was found at a guest house in the Nakuru city centre on Sunday night.
He said the matter was reported by an employee, who said a foul smell was wafting from a room that was locked from inside.
Police had to break the door to gain access. They found the body lying in a bed with no visible injuries.
An autopsy was planned for Wednesday.