A suspected witchdoctor and his client were Sunday arrested in Maara Sub-county, Tharaka Nithi County, for allegedly killing a nine-year-old girl for a ritual.
In the incident at Magutuni, people worshipping at the nearby Full Gospel Church said they heard a girl’s cries but initially didn’t pay much attention to them.
They said that after completing the service, they decided to find out what had happened so they went to the alleged witchdoctor’s home.
There they reportedly found the 94-year-old and his client eating meat but were quickly shown a slaughtered goat.
The people said they then demanded to know where the girl the suspected witchdoctor had earlier called from the church was.
Resident James Mutembei said the girl delivered milk to the old man every day for pay.
The residents said that upon asking about the Grade Two pupil’s whereabouts, the man and his client turned violent, prompting them to call police.
Mr Mutembei said that when police arrived, their search found the girl’s severed head hidden in a chicken coop.
When the police officers forced the two to show them the body, they were led to one of the houses in the compound, the residents said.
They added that they also found three slaughtered chickens with missing hearts.
"The old man, who is a known witchdoctor in the village, called the girl and asked her to collect some bottles. That is when the two slaughtered her and ate her heart," Mr Mutembei claimed.
The suspects were taken to Ntumu Police Station and a probe opened.
A report from Magutuni Police Station gave a different account as reported by the 94-year-old, whom police said is a witchdoctor from Mpingu village, Kiroo.
The report says that in his report filed at the station, he told police that his client went to his home and attacked the girl.
The report says the girl's body was found hidden in a goat shed, her head outside the shed and a slaughtered goat outside the compound.
Police said that inside the old man's house was a slaughtered chicken and items used for witchcraft.
They collected two stained machetes from the scene.
The girl's body was taken to Chuka mortuary .