Kenyan LGBTQ rights campaigner Edwin Chiloba, whose body was found in a metal box on the roadside near the city of Eldoret last week, died from suffocation caused by socks stuffed into his mouth, a pathologist said on Wednesday.
“(He) died from asphyxia which is caused by smothering. We found that he had a piece of jeans trouser which was tied around the mouth, and around the nose,” pathologist Johansen Oduor told reporters.
“There were socks which were stuffed in the mouth.” Oduor said, adding that Chiloba showed no other signs of injury.
Police believe Chiloba, a fashion model and designer, was killed at his home in the western Kenyan city and have named his roommate Jacktone Odhiambo, with whom he is thought to have been in a relationship, as the main suspect.
Odhiambo and four other suspects are in police custody.
Chiloba’s death has sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ community in Kenya, where homosexuality is taboo and gay sex is punishable by 14 years in prison, although that law is rarely enforced.