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The Whitman, Mass., community (just south of Boston) is left with more questions than answers this week after a missing woman, Margaret “Maggie” Mbitu, was found stabbed to death in a vehicle located in a garage at Logan International Airport.
Who Was Maggie Mbitu?
Known to friends and loved ones as “a sweet and caring” soul, Mbitu, 31, immigrated with family from Kenya to America in 2007.
After earning a nursing degree from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, she spent nearly half a decade providing care to those in need. In particular, through BAMSI, a nonprofit “with a vision of driving change and creating equal opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental and behavioral health challenges.”
“The BAMSI community is heartbroken by the tragic murder of Maggie Mbitu,” her employer began in a statement shared on Facebook. “She was warm, caring, and loved by everyone she worked with, both staff and the people she cared for in our group homes. As an agency, we are mourning over the loss of such an amazing young woman.”
Everything We Know So Far
On Monday, October 30, authorities started the Mbitu investigation as a missing person. Days later, on Wednesday, November 2, after tracking her phone’s location, authorities located her unresponsive inside a car at a parking lot adjacent to the airport, Massachusetts State Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office reported at the time.
Soon after, investigators named Mbitu’s suspected boyfriend, Kevin Kangethe, 40, a primary suspect after he was seen on video surveillance footage exiting the garage. But it is believed he fled the country on a flight to Kenya.
Boyfriend is reportedly charged with murder of Mbitu
Although authorities have yet to apprehend Kangethe, they have reportedly obtained a warrant charging him with Mbitu’s murder, and are working closely with Kenyan officials to locate him. In the meantime, police state they are scrubbing nearby surveillance footage to build a substantial case.
Survived by her two older sisters and mother — all of whom are also healthcare providers — Mbitu leaves behind loved ones grappling for answers.
“I don’t get it. I don’t get how somebody would take somebody’s life away for no reason, even now, I have so many questions,” Rose Mbitu, Maggie’s mother told 10 Boston.
“The only thing I would now say to Kevin, wherever he is, is just surrender his life to God because it is only God who can change whatever mentality is in his mind of whatever he did.”
A Community Mourns
“I’m so incredibly sorry for the tragic loss of Margaret. She was my mother’s nurse and was always so lovely. I know my mother will miss her very much. My heart goes out to her family, friends, and coworkers. Deep condolences to all,” a social media user commented.
Family members are taking to GoFundMe where they created a fundraiser to offset funeral costs and legal fees – all the while remembering her “light.”
“Maggie, we love you and we will miss your loving, kind, caring, and genuine spirit. You were a friend to many, a helping hand to those around you, and a light in many people’s lives. You taught us what it means to live fully and love generously. We’ll miss you and keep your memory with us forever. Thank you for leaving your imprint in our lives,” a portion of the statement reads.
Recent Data Highlights A Disturbing Trend
Mbitu’s passing highlights a darker side of a growing trend in “female victims of murder and non-negligent manslaughter” knowing their attacker.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), “the percentage of females murdered by an intimate partner was five times higher than for males,” in 2021.
Further, nearly 34% of the women killed in the U.S. that same year, died at the hands of an “intimate partner.”
On the flip side, only 6% of the men were related to “intimate partner homicide.”
If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788 for intervention and resources.