What you need to know:
- Shockingly, the body had been nailed inside the coffin.
Near the coffin were drugs suspected to be poison.
Residents of a village in Nyeri County witnessed a horrific scene on Thursday when they found the body of a teacher who had been missing for three weeks nailed in a coffin inside his rental house.
Joseph Gathogo’s body was discovered in his two-roomed semi-permanent house in Ihururu village in a coffin put in a boat-like structure in his living room.
The “boat”, which acted as the grave, was made of concrete slabs covered with cardboard.
Near the ‘boat’, were flowers and paraphernalia including a black flag, a cow horn and scrolls written in a foreign language.
Gathogo, 44, a computer teacher at Muhoya Secondary School, was reported missing on December 22 last year.
Muhoya Assistant Chief Martha Wanjiru said on that day, the teacher had supervised the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams.
“The school's administration had asked him to help ensure a smooth running of the national examinations,” said Ms Wanjiru.
But after retiring to his house from work that day, he did not come out of the house.
None of his neighbours realised he was missing until his family came looking for him on January 7, 2022.
According to Ms Wanjiru, the teacher’s family filed a missing person report with the police.
Mr William Gitau, caretaker of the homestead in which the deceased lived for 14 years said that he was last seen on December 19, last year.
He, however, added that he did not find this strange since the teacher hardly left his house even during weekends.
“You could only find him outside whenever he was going to the shop,” he said, adding the teacher hardly engaged in conversations with people.
Mr Gitau said the teacher, who loved playing loud music, hardly received any guests.
However, yesterday, the caretaker realised that some foul smell was coming from the teacher’s house as he cleaned the compound.
The main door had been locked from the outside with a padlock while the back door was locked from the inside.
“Police broke into the house and found the teacher’s naked body inside a three-foot coffin in his sitting room,” he said.
Shockingly, the body had been nailed inside the coffin. Near the coffin were drugs suspected to be poison.
Nyeri County Police Commander Steve Oloo said the police are suspecting the teacher might have died by suicide.
However, questions remain on how could have happened given that the body was nailed inside the 'coffin' and the door locked from outside.
“The body had no physical injuries while the door had been locked from the inside,” he said.
Mr Oloo said the police have launched investigations to establish if the teacher had died by suicide.
The body was moved to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem.