POLICE on the Copperbelt have arrested a notorious prison escapee behind the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl and a spate of robberies.

Police have identified the notorious criminal who escaped from Kabwe Medium Prison where he was serving a 20-year jail sentence for aggravated robbery as Joseph Chiteta.

Commissioner of Police Elias Chushi, said Chiteta led the police to a scene where he murdered the girl and hang her on a pine tree.

The 18-year-old girl went missing on May 22, 2021.

Chushi said following intensive interrogations on Monday May 24, 2021 at 13:00 hours, police unearthed a case of murder, in which the suspect led Luanshya Police Officers to Chichele Forest in Kasongo area of Luanshya District where they discovered a dead body of a female aged 18, of Chichele Community, in Ndola.

“The suspect stripped his victim and tied her to a pine tree. It is strongly believed the deceased was sexually abused before she was strangled to death by the suspect. Further, the victim was earlier reported to have been abducted by unknown person on 22nd May, 2021 around 10:00 hours in Twapia, Ndola District and since then police officers have been searching for the victim, until the discovery. The body was identified by the uncle to the deceased Golden Kautingu 61 of house No. 4079 Kabushi Ndola and later taken to Thompson District Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem,” said Chushi.

He said the suspect is behind a spate of aggravated robberies, abductions and rapes in Luanshya, Ndola and Kabwe.

Chushi said the suspect was arrested on Sunday around 11:00hours in Fisenge compound of Buluba.

“The suspect was cornered by alert Police officers in Fisenge Compound, Baluba Area Luanshya District, on 23rd May, 2021 around 11:00 hours. The suspect is alleged to have escaped from Kabwe Medium Prison where he was serving a 20 years jail sentence for Aggravated Robbery he committed in 2012 and was arrested by Police in Baluba,” he said.