Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Imo State Police Command has arrested two suspects while two others are on the run, in connection with the murder of a 36-year-old woman, Miss Joy Uchechi Nwachukwu, who they allegedly buried in a shallow grave.
The victim was a cashier of HALIM 633 Synergy Cooking Gas Station located at Toronto/Road Safety by MCC Road Owerri, Imo State.
The Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Michael Abattam, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri on Monday.
Police said it swung into action after the report about the victim missing was brought to the command on 24 October 2022.
“The State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) for discreet investigation as well as the team of crime scene investigators moved into action,” Abattam said.
“Following a case of Missing Person reported on the 24/10/2022 by the family of young woman, Miss Joy Uchechi Nwachukwu aged 36yrs who left home for work at HALIM 633 synergy cooking gas station, Toronto/Road Safety by MCC Road Owerri, Imo State and never returned home.
“After a futile search, the family decided to complain to the Commissioner of Police through a petition written by one Pastor Mrs Precious Abara. On receipt of the petition, it was immediately referred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) for discreet investigation.
“Detectives from the forensic section were detailed to investigate in conjunction with a team of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) led by Inspector Obele Fredrick.
“The investigating team, on 26/10/2022 at about 1200 hours left the Police Headquarters to the scene of the crime on the investigation, armed with Forensic Equipment.
“On arrival, preliminary investigation revealed that Miss Joy Uchechi Nwachukwu who doubles as the Secretary/Cashier of the Gas Plant takes the weekly money sales to the bank on Tuesdays and manages the day-to-day running of the company because the owner who resides abroad entrusts the business in her care.
“These unfolding revelations gave the team of detectives an insight into the puzzle surrounding the disappearance of the lady and a thorough search was made in the premises of the entire gas station for clues. Unfortunately, nothing incriminating was discovered hence they moved to the back of the cooking gas station.
“In the course of searching, a blood stain was observed on the wall of the fence, this made the team suspect foul play hence, they carefully and professionally traced the blood stain to an area where dried grasses were packed deceptively with two heavy stones placed on them to create an impression that nothing has been done around the area for a long time. But, the operatives were not fooled.
“They removed the heavy stones, and the grasses and gently dug out the earth, alas an offensive stench oozed out.
“Excitedly, they dug further only to discover it was a shallow grave, inside was a shovel and a cutlass and the decomposing body of Miss Joy Uchechi Nwachukwu.
“Consequently, the corpse was exhumed, and the shovel and cutlass were recovered at the Station. Hypothetically, it is reasonably suspected that the two items recovered in the shallow grave are the murder weapons used in killing the victim.
“The corpse was later evacuated and deposited at Federal Medical Centre mortuary for autopsy. Two suspects have been arrested and are undergoing interrogation for the gruesome murder of Miss Joy Uchechi Nwachukwu while two others are on the run.
“The police operatives are not relenting in their search for the fleeing suspects and within the shortest possible time, they will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law,” Police said.