A nurse who had been reported missing earlier this week was found dead in a car in a parking garage at Boston Logan International Airport, authorities said Thursday, adding that her suspected killer had boarded a flight and headed to Kenya.
The family of Margaret “Maggie” Mbitu, 31, of Whitman, Massachusetts, reported her missing on Monday. State Police troopers stationed at the airport then discovered her body in the vehicle at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. “Evidence indicates that she was the victim of a homicide,” Massachusetts State Police (MSP) said in a news release.
According to sources cited by CBS News Boston, Mbitu had been stabbed and was found in the passenger seat of the car. The outlet identified Kevin Kangethe, 40, as Mbitu’s partner.
Authorities have not publicly commented on the suspected cause of her death, but they have obtained an arrest warrant for Kangethe charging him with Mbitu’s homicide. The investigation determined Kangethe, of Lowell, Massachusetts, had boarded a flight and traveled to Kenya. The MSP said Mbitu and Kangethe “knew each other” and “the homicide was not a random act.”
The arrest warrant information indicates that the suspect and Mbitu were dating, according to WCVB, and that investigators saw large slash wounds on her neck and face as well as a puncture wound in the side of her body. There was a “large amount of blood inside the vehicle,” the warrant application says. The document also states that Kangethe bought airline tickets to Kenya early on Tuesday—the day before Mbitu’s body was found.
Mbitu was last seen leaving her job in Halifax on Monday night. She worked for BAMSI—a Brockton-based nonprofit that works with people with mental and behavioral health challenges as well as developmental disabilities. Ulea Lago, a spokeswoman for the company, told the Boston Herald that Mbitu had worked for the agency for over seven years as a per diem nurse in some of the organization’s homes. Mbitu’s mother also works for BAMSI, Lago said.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit shared a missing person poster online saying Mbitu was last spotted at 11 p.m. on Monday and had been driving a white Toyota Venza. “Your assistance could make all the difference,” BAMSI captioned the post. “Praying for safe return.”
The following day, after Mbitu’s body was found, the organization said its community is “heartbroken by the tragic murder.”
“She was warm, caring, and loved by everyone she worked with, both staff and the people she cared for in our group homes,” the Facebook statement read. “As an agency, we are in mourning over the loss of such an amazing young [woman].”
The MSP said its detectives are now working with authorities in Kenya to find Kangethe. The United States has an extradition treaty with the East African country, meaning that it’s possible he will be brought back to America to face charges if he’s caught.
George Kamau, Mbitu’s cousin, told WCVB she was a loving person who always tried to help others. “We want justice for Maggie,” he added, “And we will not rest until that is done.”