What you need to know:
- Parents in Moi’s Bridge town are living in fear as residents associate the killings with rituals.
- The recent death was that of Linda Jerotich, 13, who was murdered one week ago.
Dusty walls of silos and rusty roofs welcome one to Moi’s Bridge town on the border of Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties.
The appearance gives one an impression of a serene town, but looks can be deceiving. For the last three years, the town has been the epicentre of distressing serial killings targeting young girls. At least nine of them have been defiled and murdered and their bodies dumped in thickets that are in a 300 metres radius.
Parents are living in fear as residents associate the killings with rituals. The recent death was that of Linda Jerotich, 13, who was murdered in Moi’s Bridge a week ago.
A 300m journey to a nearby salon turned fatal. “She left home in a jovial mood heading to a salon where she does her hair regularly. That was the last time we interacted with her,” said Brian Kiplimo, a cousin.
The girl went missing for four days before her mutilated body was discovered by a herder in a maize plantation near Moi’s Bridge National Cereal and Produce (NCPB).
Police have arrested one suspect in connection with the heinous act.
An Eldoret court allowed police to detain the suspect for seven days pending investigations.
Some metres away from Jeruto’s uncle’s home, the family of Mary Eluza,14, who was defiled and murdered, after she went missing on December 19, 2020, is still mourning.
Genesis of killings
Her body was discovered a day later by a villager who was tilling his maize crop.
Mary was coming from Moi’s Bridge township, from her father’s shop, taking home some sacks when she was picked by unknown people.
“I had given her some sacks to take to her mother for maize storage . After some time, I called my wife to find out if she had reached home, only to be told she was yet to arrive,” recounted Mr Geoffrey Omega.
Mr Omega said that he closed his shop and mobilised villagers to start a search.
Her body, which was placed in a sack, was discovered a day later near a dam, together with sacks that her father had given her to take home.
“I suspect this might be ritual killing, where our children are being sacrificed. The mode of killing and abduction seem to be the same for all the nine children from this area,” said Mr Omega.
He accused police of doing little to establish the genesis of the killing of minors.
“The police are reluctant to help us unravel the serial killers. I was forced to take back the clothes of my daughter, which were being kept as evidence,” said Mr Omega.
Ironically, on the same day, December 19, 2019, another minor, Staicy Nabiso,11, went missing in a similar manner.
Staicy was sent by her mother, Sharon Sakwa, to buy vegetables from a vendor well-known to her.
“It was around 6:30pm. I sent my daughter to purchase vegetables from my regular customer about 200 metres from our home. That was the last time I saw her,” said Ms Sakwa.
The body of Staicy was discovered along a railway line after 12 days.
“I will never forgive the killers of my only daughter,” said Ms Sakwa.
She accused police of laxity after releasing two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of her daughter, who was also defiled.
“Why did they release the suspects even before informing us? I had clues that linked the suspect with the killing of my daughter,” said Ms Sakwa.
An Eldoret court released the suspects for what prosecution termed as lack of evidence.
Defiled and killed
Sarah Njeri’s, 11, body was found on a farm in June last year. Njeri was reported missing in May that year only to end up as another victim of the spate of killings.
Her mother, who is still grief-stricken, is yet to come to terms with what happened.
“To date, I am yet to believe what my eyes saw. There were parts of her bodies scattered, some were missing. If anyone had a grudge with me, why kill my innocent angel?” she said.
A post-mortem report on all minors confirmed that they were defiled before being killed.
Uasin Gishu police commander Ayub Ali Gitonga said more investigations are being conducted by detectives to unravel the killings.
Mr Gitonga said the arrest of one suspect in connection with recent killing is likely to give police a new direction.
He appealed to residents to provide more information to enable police to unravel the murders.