A murder investigation has been launched in Kenya into the death of a British woman who worked for the BBC’s international development agency.
The body of Kate Mitchell, a senior manager at BBC Media Action, was found Friday in the capital Nairobi shortly after an emergency alarm went off in her room. Police in Kenya said the window of her eighth-floor hotel room was broken and the body of a man Mitchell had been with before was found on the floor.
“We are investigating the circumstances surrounding these deaths,” Nairobi Police Chief Augustine Thumbi told reporters. “The suspected perpetrator jumped from the eighth floor of the hotel through the room window after sensing that hotel security was after him,” he added.
“We don’t know the motive as of yet, and these are things the researchers are trying to put together.”
Mitchell had worked for 14 years for the charity formerly known as the BBC World Service Trust. Her most recent position was senior project manager in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
It is thought Mitchell’s death had nothing to do with her work for the organization.
Caroline Nursey, the charity’s director, said: “We are all shocked and shocked by this terrible news. Kate was a much loved member of staff… She was well known throughout our organization, especially our teams in Ethiopia, South Africa. Sudan, Zambia and London.
“We extend our deepest condolences to her family and her many friends around the world.”
The charity said: “Kate was positive, fun, driven and extremely talented, and her work made a huge difference to many communities and to Media Action’s mission to use media and communication to tackle poverty and inequality around the world. .”
Kate’s brother, Peter Mitchell, described her as “a much loved daughter, sister and friend”. In a statement released on behalf of the family, he said: “Kate loved her job and was tireless in her efforts to make the world a better place. We are only now beginning to realize the magnitude of her loss.”
He said the family was working with the Foreign Office and Kate’s colleagues at BBC Media Action to try to understand what happened. He appealed to the press and social media users not to speculate about how she died while her death was under investigation.
The charity also said it was working with the British government to determine what happened and was willing to help Kenyan authorities.
BBC Media Action uses media and communication to reduce poverty, improve health and help people understand their rights.