Police in Tharaka Nithi County are investigating a bizarre incident in Giankanja village where a man is suspected to have killed his father and cooked parts of the dismembered body while hiding some in a tunnel next to his house.
Muthambi Sub County Police Commander John Manei said the suspect was arrested on Thursday evening and police are going on with the investigations.
The police boss said a report was made to the village elder after the deceased, Nevert Miriti, 70, disappeared for three days and after a search, they found a part of a decomposing human body without a head and legs hidden in a deep tunnel.
“We have arrested a man who is suspected to have killed his father, cooked part of the body and hidden some in a tunnel,” said Mr Manei on Friday.
The shocked village elder together with the locals rushed to the chief to report only to come back and find that the body was nowhere to be found.
The tunnel which was dug by the suspect for six years from 2017 is a few metres from his house and is about 13 metres long and 20 feet deep with stairs at the entrance.
Inside, the tunnel is wide but at some point, there is a 10-foot deep borehole filled with water and an opening at one point which allows some light in.
After they were unable to get to the deep end of the tunnel, the chief, police and residents proceeded to the suspect’s house where they found a sufuria with cooked flesh mixed with some vegetables and covered with some dry grass.
They also found what is suspected to be a human skull and blood-stained clothes and gumboots which belonged to the deceased.
“We suspect the meat could be of a human being but it will be taken to a government laboratory to ascertain,” he said.
They also discovered a handbag containing the identity card of a woman from Imenti South in the neighbouring Meru County among other items like books and newspapers.
When asked whether he knew the whereabouts of his father, the suspect claimed he had also been looking for him.
On Friday morning the search continued and the residents discovered a sack inside Nithi River covered with big stones and on checking, it contained the part of the body which had initially been found in the tunnel suggesting someone moved it when the village elder went to report.
Tharaka Nithi Deputy Governor Nyaga Muisraeli and Mitheru Member ward representative Nevert Kinuthia condemned the incident and blamed it on drug use.
Muisraeli called on both the national and county government to join hands in fighting insecurity. He also urged the villagers to always report suspected criminals to the authorities to avoid such incidences.
“I have never witnessed such a bizarre incident as this and I urge the government to scale up the fight against drug use,” said Mr Muisrael.
Mr Kinuthia asked the police to further investigate if the suspect had targeted other victims, including those involved accidents at the infamous Nithi Bridge, which is some metres from his house.
Mr Manei said the water inside the tunnel will be removed in order to confirm whether the missing body parts could be inside.
“The suspect will be taken to court to face murder charges,” he said.
Johnson Mutembei, a resident said the suspect who rarely interacts with locals started digging the tunnel back in 2017 and at first, people thought it was a borehole.
He said the suspect has been having differences with his father and before the latter disappeared they had differed over napier grass around the tunnel.
“The two had quarreled after the man stopped his father from cutting the napier grass around the tunnel and that could be the cause of the murder,” said Mr Mutembei.
Next to the entrance of the tunnel, there is a drying bundle of cut napier grass that investigators believe the deceased was attacked cutting.