Kenya: Soldier Leads Police to Grave With Bodies of Missing Woman and Her Two Children

17 November 2019

Three bodies believed to be of the estranged wife of a military officer and their two children who disappeared three weeks ago were Saturday evening found buried in a shallow grave at Thingithu Estate in Nanyuki.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Military Police found the bodies after being led to the scene by the military man who is the main suspect in the suspected triple homicide.

ABANDONED CEMETERY

Major Peter Mwaura of Laikipia Airbase in Nanyuki was arrested on Thursday by military police and handed over to the DCI.

After more than 24 hours of grilling at Nanyuki Police Station and at his house inside the army barracks, the suspect led police to an abandoned cemetery in Thingithu Estate, barely a kilometre from the army base.

Still in a combat t-shirt, the army man led a team from the DCI and KDF officers to the spot the three bodies were buried.

After about 30 minutes of analysis and digging, police found three gunny bags in containing decomposing bodies which were tied up using plastic ropes inside the shallow grave.

All this time the suspect sat in the unmarked DCI vehicle, constantly trying to catch a glimpse of the discovery and hiding his face from cameras and the curious crowd.

Laikipia County Criminal Investigations Officer Peter Muinde declined to confirm if the bodies found were of the missing woman and her two children.

FORENSIC TESTS

"We still have to do some more forensic tests to identify the bodies. A source led us to the scene and we are working to confirm if the bodies are of the missing woman and the two children," Mr Muinde said.

Joyce Syombua, 31, and her children Shanice Maua, 10 and Prince Michael, 5 were reported missing on October 27 after spending two days at Major Mwaura's home. They had arrived at the Laikipia barracks on October 25.

Ms Farizana Syombua, a relative of the missing woman told the Nation that she texted her to enquire about their journey to Nanyuki and she replied that all was well.

In a text message, Syombua informed Ms Farizana that Mr Mwaura had taken the children for a walk within the military base.

Mr Mwaura claimed that he had left the children with a friend because he wanted to have a private conversation with his estranged wife.

He had initially told the police that Ms Syombua left for Nairobi with the children in a matatu. He claimed that he released his family back to the base after being called in to work urgently.

He alleged that he took Syombua and the children to Nanyuki bus terminus where they boarded a 4NTE Sacco matatu to Nairobi.

DISAPPEARANCE

The trio however never arrived at their home in Kayole, Nairobi, raising suspicion over their safety.

A report was initially made at Soweto and Nanyuki Police stations, prompting investigations into their disappearance of the three.

The discovery of her mobile phone inside a matatu would later open a can of worms into what is turning out to be a brutal triple homicide and a well calculated cover up.

Detectives would later discover that the matatu in which the phone was found never made a trip to Nairobi after all.

Officials from the sacco told police that the matatu had been hired for a private function in the Rift Valley on October 28 and did not make a trip to Nairobi as claimed by Major Mwaura.

A statement from a classified witness would later give the police the biggest lead. The witness told the police that the army officer had sent him to buy three gunny bags.

Major Mwaura was arrested on Thursday by Military Police before he was handed over to the DCI. The suspect will be arraigned on Monday.

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