Delyan Wachira and his brother Kian. Their bodies were found in River Sagana on Sunday night.

| Joan Pereruan | Nation Media Group

Mystery of toddlers who ‘drowned’ in River Sagana

What you need to know:

  • The mother, Eva Wangui, a former Nyeri beauty queen, who is said to be mentally unstable.
  • Wangui has since been admitted to a psychiatric ward at Nyeri County Referral Hospital.

 When two toddlers left home for an evening stroll with their mother a week ago, nobody suspected anything sinister. 

Relatives in Kangema, Nyeri County, assumed they would return home safely. But a week later, the lifeless bodies of three-year-old Dylan Wachira, and Kian Wachira, aged two years, were retrieved from River Sagana at Wariruta, more than 20 kilometres away.

The missing persons’ file at Nyeri Central Police Station has been shut and now detectives in Mathira Sub-county have commenced murder investigations.

“The bodies were found on Sunday. The family positively identified them and we are now investigating their murder,” Mathira East deputy police boss Richard Masila said yesterday.

The mother, Eva Wangui, a former Nyeri beauty queen, who is said to be mentally unstable. Wangui left her parents’ home in Kangemi on November 1 for a walk with her sons, around 3pm, the last time relatives saw the boys alive.

“We thought she had gone to the shopping centre, but when she had not returned by around 6pm, we became worried,” said Mary Wangui, a relative.

At around 6pm, Wangui and the children were spotted at Githiru area, about seven kilometres away. A resident claimed she was asking for directions to Gachika in Kirichu, where her grandparents live.

The Marua bridge on the Nyeri-Nairobi highway where Eva Wangui was spotted. Her two children were found dead in River Sagana on Sunday. Police have launched investigations. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

“It was already dark, but she could point towards the lights visible in Gachika and asked for the shortest route there. We told her that the only available route through our farm is risky as it was dark,” a couple told the Nation.

Wangui insisted on taking the route despite the risk. The couple offered the children warm clothes.

“My son tried to stop her, but she insisted on going. All we could do is give her some clothes to keep the children warm,” he said.

Short route

They left at around 8pm, followed the bushy path and made a stopover at a Githiru resident, where she also asked for a short route to Gachika. That was the last time she was seen together with the children.

Meanwhile, her parents in Kangemi had started looking for them. When they tried to call her, a stranger answered the phone, saying he had ‘collected’ it at Thunguma area. It’s unclear if Wangui had mistakenly dropped the phone or if she had intentionally dumped it.

To this point, mystery surrounds what happened between Gachika and Marua, where the woman would be found 10 hours later.

At 5am last Monday, Wangui was found seated in the corridor of a Marua home, about 15 kilometres from Kangemi. Her clothes were wet and she appeared confused. “She was shivering because she only had a T-shirt and a pair of trousers. She had no shoes on,” the home owner said.

Police are now trying to piece together what transpired between 8pm on Sunday when she was last seen with her children, and 5am on Monday, when she showed up at a stranger’s doorstep.

Wangui has since been admitted to a psychiatric ward at Nyeri County Referral Hospital.

On November 8, residents of Wariruta in Mathira discovered Kian’s body at River Sagana at dawn. The second body was found a few hundred metres away.

 “It appears they were thrown into the river and right now the only suspect is the mother. But we understand she’s mentally unstable, so we will have her evaluated so that we can ascertain if she is fit to be questioned,” police boss Richard Masila told the Nation.

However, with a 10-hour gap still unaccounted for, the question is if the boys were murdered or accidentally drowned as their mother made efforts to get to Gachika.