Kenyan artist found dead in Netherlands, body cremated without family’s consent


A Kenyan musician was found dead in a ditch in the Netherlands near their home shortly after her husband reported her missing.

The artist’s family is suspecting foul play in their 32-year-old daughter’s death.

Mercy Wanjiku Muthui’s husband Daniel Erhardt was detained by police following suspicious circumstances surrounding Wanjiku’s death but he was later released.

Wanjiku’s family received a call from Foreign Affairs Ministry on January 13, notifying them of her death.

Erhardt had told police she had committed suicide by drowning herself in a ditch.

Following Wanjiku’s death, her German husband went ahead to cremate her body despite objections from her family.

Wanjiku’s sister, Bilha Muthui, told Nation that they suspect foul play in her death.

“According to the media, Mr Erhardt had reported to the police that her wife was not in bed next to him when he woke up and appeared as if she was not at home. But it just took the police a few minutes of search before her body was found at the ditch,” she said.

After his release from police custody, Erhardt contacted the family saying he was unable to raise Sh2.5 million to airlift Wanjiku’s remains to Kenya.

He contacted the family on January 30 saying he had decided to cremate Wanjiku’s body, a failed attempt of raising the money.

“We told him that our customs and beliefs as Christians were not in tandem with cremation, but he said he does not care how we feel and it was our problem to deal with,” the deceased’s sister said.

Wanjiku had stayed in Netherlands for two years after a flashy wedding in Nairobi on August 3, 2016. The couple had a five-month-old son together.

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