What you need to know:
- Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, (both 17), and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20 went missing on May 4.
- The three students from Mathira East sub-county were on an adventure in Mt Kenya forest when they got lost.
Four days with no food and contact. That is the time three students and their two dogs spent in a forest in Mathira before being rescued.
Police officers mounted an aerial and ground search for 17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20 who went missing on May 4.
The three students from Mathira East sub-county were on an adventure in Mt Kenya forest when they got lost.
Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.
After four days of futile search, police deployed a helicopter yesterday. They teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.
Also found were the two dogs which were with the students.
Survived without food
Muhoro, who narrated their ordeal by phone from the forest, attributed their survival to God’s mercy
“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro told the Sunday Nation.
“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”
He said they were hiking when they lost their way back home.
“We entered the forest through Ragati gate. Hours later, we found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.
“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”
Realising they were lost, the students “meditated” and prayed to save energy and avoid thinking about food.
Phones lost signals
It became difficult to communicate with the outside world as their mobile phones lost signals.
“We started moving in the forest, literally going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.
Days later as they trekked towards the edge of the forest, they met some police officers and forest rangers who summoned the rest of the search party.
According to Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, the students went to the forest around noon.
Their disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day and a search by locals and police was mounted.
The operation yesterday caused a stir in Karatina as the helicopter made several trips to and from the stadium, the main command centre of the search.