In their world of innocence at their Ziwa la Ng’ombe home in Mombasa, brothers Damel Jackson (eight years) and David Boke (four years) would walk around the estate comfortably in the belief that they were safe.
That was until Sunday 2am when loud, heart-rending cries erupted from neighbours after noticing a huge mysterious fire that had engulfed their house.
By Monday morning, smoke was still billowing from the damaged house and inside lay the bodies of the two boys.
Yesterday, a preliminary report of an autopsy done at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary revealed no signs of inhalation of smoke were recorded around their throats or respiratory systems.
Also, the bodies were burnt between 70 and 75 percent.
The family now suspects the two siblings had died by the time the fire razed the rental building.
And in a new twist, their father’s body was yesterday found in Taveta, more than 260 kilometeres away from Mombasa.
A report from Taveta police station seen by the Nation indicated 47-year-old Jasson Chacha’s body was found hanging in a house at Lesesia village.
He is suspected to have died by suicide.
“One mason Elisha makau, at around 9.30am, went to lesesia village where he is constructing a double room belonging to Kachiri Henry. He found a dead body hanging in one of the rooms with face wrapped with a blue striped maasai shuka. Police visited the scene and established the dead body to be Jasson Chacha nyamosi,” the report says.
When the Nation visited the scene of crime, a partitioned room, on Monday, witnesses explained they managed to rescue the boys’ sister (aged 11) after responding to the fire.
They said the children could have been locked inside the house.
“Jackson his entire body burned including his face, skin and upper limb. He had a severe burn of 70 per cent with multiple organ failure following the burn,” read the report.
He had worn grey short jeans.
It further noted the body of the younger sibling Boke who had worn short grey jeans and a striped t-shirt had severe burn at 75 percent with multiple organ failure following the burn.
Their liver, kidney and blood specimens were forwarded to a government facility for further examination. Results are to be released in the next three to four days.
The family called for a speedy investigation urging police officers to arrest the father of the children whom they suspect to have set the house on fire before escaping.
“My husband had called me the same day in the middle of the night informing me that he had strangled the children. I immediately called my neighbours since I was not around and they confirmed the house was on fire,” said Ms Maria Boke, the boys' mother.
"I am living in fear not knowing the next move my husband would make. I do not know what might happen to me or my daughter who survived the incident. The husband has not called me since the incident occurred. I am worried,” said Ms Boke before learning of her husband's suspected suicide.
The brother to the husband, Benson Ikwabe noted they were shocked to have learnt of the incident.
“This is not a small issue, the police should prioritize it. I was present during the preliminary examination and no signs of those children being beaten or strangled were recorded. Their bodies were found on the bed meaning they had no knowledge of the fire erupting or else they could have been found in a manner that they were trying to rescue themselves,” said Mr Ikwabe.
Mr Ikwabe added that their brother, Chacha, is a well-known businessman who worked at Kongowea Market.
Another brother, James Ikwabe urged Mr Chacha to surrender to any nearest police station as soon as possible.
“We have been following up on the issue and we urge the relative security apparatus to move with speed to solve the murder. We suspect there was foul play on the murder of the children,” said Haki Africa Rapid Response officer, Mr Mathias Shipeta.