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BBC staffer murdered in Kenya, police launch probe

The Kenya Government has launched a murder investigation into the death of a BBC staff member in a Nairobi hotel room, the city’s police chief said Monday.

The body of Kate Mitchell, a British national who worked for BBC Media Action, the broadcaster’s international charity, was found on Friday, shortly after an emergency alarm was activated in her room, police said.

Her eighth-floor room’s window was broken and the body of a man she had been with earlier was found on the ground outside the hotel.

“We are investigating circumstances surrounding these deaths, but so far it is apparent the man jumped (out of) the window after killing her. We do not know the motive so far, and these are things the investigators are trying to put together,” Nairobi police chief, Augustine Thumbi told AFP.

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In a statement, the BBC said Mitchell worked with the organisation for 14 years, most recently as a senior project manager in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

“We are all shocked and horrified by this terrible news. Kate was a much-loved member of staff… she was well known across our whole organisation, especially by our teams in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zambia, and London,” BBC Media Action CEO Caroline Nursey said.

“We send our deepest condolences to her family and her many friends around the world,” she added.

The victim’s brother Peter Mitchell described her as “a deeply beloved daughter, sister and friend”.

“Kate loved her work and was tireless in her efforts to make the world a better place. We are only beginning to realise the magnitude of her loss,” he said, adding that the family was in touch with British authorities and BBC Media Action to understand the circumstances behind her death,” he said in a statement released on behalf of the family.

A donor-funded charity, BBC Media Action focuses on using media and community to support marginalised groups around the world. (AFP)