In a blood-curdling confession, a young man has confessed to kidnapping and slaughtering at least 13 children in Nairobi and its environs as the capital reels under a spiralling wave of abductions.
Police records show at least three children are reported missing in the city every day, with criminals on the loose increasingly demanding ransom from parents, guardians and relatives.
Masten Milimu Wanjala, 20, revealed his dark secrets yesterday after he was cornered by police who have been on his trail for weeks over the capture and disappearance of two boys in Shauri Moyo.
He was arrested on Tuesday evening by detectives from Buruburu Police Station after he was linked to the kidnapping of Charles Opindo Bala, 13, and Junior Mutuku Musyoka, 12, on June 30 and July 7, respectively.
And as if he already knew what the crime busters wanted from him, detectives told the Nation he gave a blow-by-blow account of how he captured the two boys before executing them in cold blood.
Later, he led police to where decomposing bodies of the two teens were found in Nairobi County.
One of the bodies was found dumped near Kabete Approved School on Tuesday night, while the other was collected from a thicket near Spring Valley in Westlands Wednesday morning.
The state of the remains reveals the two minors met brutal deaths at the hands of their abductors, as they were covered in blood.
“The bodies were whole; none of their parts were missing but they had started to decompose,” Nairobi Regional Commander Augustine Nthumbi told the Nation.
The boys’ parents said they went missing hours after returning home from school.
Bala’s father Tony Opindo said the Standard Six pupil at Sagaret Primary School Majengo was playing outside their house when he disappeared at 7.30pm.
Picked in darkness
“I was inside the shop selling when he mysteriously went missing while playing outside the shop. I searched but couldn’t find him; the kidnappers must have picked him up when the darkness set in,” he recalled.
A missing-person report was filed at California Police Station as OB 11/30/06/2021 on June 30.
On Monday last week, however, he received a text message from a strange phone number demanding Sh30,000 for the release of his child.
“I sent him Sh2,000 when he claimed that they did not have food for the evening and in a bid to ensure that they don’t kill my son but he kept calling and demanding more, promising to only kill him if I reported the matter to the police,” he said.
On the other hand, Mutuku, a pupil of Sagaret Primary School, went missing on July 7.
His mother Felista Wayua made a report at Biafra Police Post on the same day as OB 7/7/2021.
On Wednesday, she told the Nation the search for her son made her seek help at multiple police stations, including Biafra, Shauri Moyo, Buruburu, Makongeni and Kaloleni.
“On the day he disappeared, he had left school at 4pm and joined his playmates at an open field. That was the last I heard from him,” recalls Ms Wayua.
On Sunday, however, she received a text message from a strange number informing her that if she did not send Sh50,000 ransom, the child would be transported to Tanzania.
“I asked the caller what the money is for and he said it’s for the release of my child. I then told him I do not have cash but I will look for it and he gave me five days to raise the amount,” recalled Ms Wayua.
Worst fears confirmed
But on Tuesday night, she received a call that confirmed her worst fears when she was asked by a police officer to rush to the City Mortuary and see if either of the bodies that had been brought there was of her son.
“I looked at the face and confirmed that indeed one was my missing son. I did not have the courage to examine the rest of his body as all I could see was blood. The other child’s body has its private parts removed and eyes gouged out,” she said.
Detectives have since established that the two children were kidnapped by the same gang since the mobile number they were using to extort the parents was the same.
“We expect to nail his accomplices soon. He’s opening up and we are questioning him to get further details,” Mr Nthumbi added.
The suspect has further confessed to killing and burying more than 10 other children in shallow graves in different parts of Nairobi.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations Wednesday said it was interrogating the suspect to establish the locations of the other children he is believed to have kidnapped and executed, and the motive for the macabre killings.
Last evening, the body of yet another child was recovered in Kabete by detectives following the suspect’s lead.
The DCI asked the public to volunteer information they may have on the three incidents and other cases of missing children.
“More details shall be provided as investigations ensue. Should you have any other information regarding this incident, #FichuakwaDCI through our toll free line 0800722203. USIOGOPE!” tweeted the DCI.
According to Missing Voices Kenya, 496 children who had been reported missing have been found and reunited with families, 73 have been placed in government homes and safe custody, 21 have been recorded as deceased and 190 are still missing.