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Kenyan police investigate BBC worker’s death in Nairobi

Kate Mitchell had worked for BBC Media Action for 14 years

Police in Kenya have launched an investigation after a BBC staff member was found dead in the capital Nairobi.

Kate Mitchell, a British national who worked for BBC Media Action in a number of African countries, died on Friday.

BBC Media Action is the corporation’s international charity, and its projects focus on using media and communication to address inequality around the world.

It is not thought Ms Mitchell’s death at a hotel in the city was connected to her work for the organisation.

And while the exact circumstances of her death remain unclear, police told local media they were investigating it as a murder and exploring possible motives.

“The suspected culprit… jumped off the eighth floor of the hotel through the room’s window after sensing that the hotel security might be after him,” Nairobi regional police commander Augustine Nthumbi told reporters.

Ms Mitchell, who grew up in Whitley Bay in the north-east of England, most recently worked for BBC Media Action’s office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“We are all shocked and horrified by this terrible news,” BBC Media Action CEO Caroline Nursey said in a statement.

“Kate was a much-loved member of staff, who worked as a Senior Project Manager and had been with us for 14 years. She was well known across our whole organisation, especially by our teams in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zambia, and London.

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

Her brother Peter said: “Kate was a deeply beloved daughter, sister and friend, and we are only beginning to realise the magnitude of her loss.

“The circumstances surrounding her death are still being investigated, and we would ask you to ignore speculation in parts of the press and on social media.

“We ask everyone to respect our family’s privacy as we grieve Kate’s loss.”

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