Edwin Chiloba: Murdered LGBTQ+ activist was smothered to death, official confirms

Edwin Chiloba

Kenyan LGBTQ+ Edwin Chiloba activist was smothered to death, according to officials.

Pathologist Johansen Oduor said the activist, who was found dead on 4 January 2023, had socks stuffed into his mouth and a piece of denim tied around his face.

Edwin’s body was found dumped on a roadside near the town of Eldoret in Kenya. The university student was found in a metal box, dying from asphyxia “caused by smothering”.

The murder of Edwin caused global outrage, causing human rights groups linking the murder to Edwin’s LGBTQ+ status. However, police forces in Kenya have not yet given a motive for the senseless killing.

Police have arrested five people in connection to Chiloba’s murder, including a long-time friend Jackton Odhiambo. Police have described Odhiambo as the main suspect for the murder. Police were given permission by magistrates on Monday to detain the five suspects for 21 days as they continue investigations.

As it stands, the five suspects have not been charged with any crime.

You may like to watch

Chief government pathologist, Dr Oduor, added that Edwin’s nails were discoloured during the post mortem, indicating that the LGBTQ+ activist had died from lack of oxygen in his system.

Dr Oduor added that the victim had not sustained any other injuries, dismissing media reports that Edwin’s eyes had been gouged out.

‘An amazing human’

The young activist was in his mid-20s and had moved from the capital of Nairobi to Eldoret in 2019 to study fashion, beginning to make a name for himself in design. Chiloba’s death has caused outrage all over the world, with people taking to social media to pay respects to the late activist and student.

One person wrote: “His killing was uncouth, uncalled for and violating human rights. We can’t keep silent while LGBTQIA folks are murdered in Kenya just for existing.”

“He was bold, passionate and his energy was immaculate”

The US has offered it’s assistance in the murder of Edwin Chiloba “vowing” to help investigate the uncalled for and brutal killing.

The United States Department of State spokesperson, Ned Price, said that the act of violence has “no place” within free and open societies.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price
US State Department spokesman Ned Price has condemned the brutal murder. (Getty/NICHOLAS KAMM)

“Ultimately the ultimate act of intolerance has no place in free and open societies. We made the point last week that we urge and expect the Kenyans to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into his death. And of course, if there’s anything we can do to assist, we stand ready to do that,” Price said.

“There were so many in that community in Kenya who benefited from his leadership, from his visibility, from his support.

Violence against LGBTQI+ persons or anyone, of course, is unacceptable. We’ve sent our condolences to his family, to his loved ones, but also to the LGBTQI+ community in Kenya during their time of mourning.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.