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Senior US Embassy official in Kenya hangs self in hotel room

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An American who had been posted to the United States (US) Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya as the head of security committed suicide at his hotel room in Gigiri on Wednesday morning, April 7.

The official, who arrived in the country several days ago, was set to start work on Wednesday but failed to report to his duty station.

Sources said he had been in self-isolation after he arrived in the country.

His colleagues tried reaching him on phone in vain, prompting the visit to his hotel room by security officials.

The door was found locked from inside and the team was forced to break it open.

The 58-year old was found hanging in the room and had left behind a suicide note, believed to have been written by him, indicating why he killed himself.

He had used a belt to hang himself and it is believed he was alone in the room.

“The body was found hanging near the room window. He seemed to have died long before security team arrived there,” one of the officers told K24 Digital.

A U.S. Embassy Nairobi spokesperson said the identity of the deceased official could not be revealed as his immediate family members had not been informed.

“We can confirm the death of a U.S. government employee. U.S. Embassy Nairobi extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” the spokesperson said.

Detectives from the US Embassy, Diplomatic Police Unit and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched investigations into the incident.

The body was on Wednesday transferred to the mortuary awaiting post-mortem but preliminary investigations, however, showed there was no foul play.

Nonetheless, detectives said the final determination of suicide will only be made by the pathologists after all facts are evaluated.

All death investigations are usually conducted as murder investigations until facts prove differently.

Though the presence of suicide note certainly suggests suicide, detectives will seek to establish if it was indeed genuine and was written by the deceased.

They may also have to establish if they were voluntarily written, an indicated suicidal intent and if they are coherent and legible or were written under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In the last two days at least six people have committed suicide in the country.

In one of the cases, a police officer shot dead his wife before turning the gun on himself.

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