Mother recounts how missing son, 6, was found dead in bishop's car

Joyce and Richard Wasike. The couple is seeking justice following the death of their son at a Likoni church. [Mkamburi Mwawasi, Standard]

A woman has recounted before an inquest how her son disappeared after a Sunday church service in 2018 before his lifeless body was found in a bishop's car the following day at a Likoni church.

Joyce Wasike said she collapsed after viewing the body of her six-year-old son in the back seat of the car the following day on February 26.

She said her son, Emmanuel Wasike, had been with his two siblings at the Sunday School at Ushindi Baptist Church in Likoni before he disappeared.

"It was around 3pm after the service had ended that I realised Emmanuel was missing. I managed to get Micheal and Josphine, but Emmanuel was not there. This made me panic," Ms Wasike told Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Ms Wasike, who was being led by Principal Prosecution Counsel Alex Gatuma, said was testifying in an inquest into the cause of death of Emmanuel Wasike whose body was found in a car registration number KBH 379N at Ushindi Baptist Church compound around 9.30 am.

She said she first searched for her son in the church compound but did not see him. "I asked the father if he had seen Emmanuel but he had not," said Ms Wasike.

The mother said she left the church in a hurry with other children and went home hoping Emmanuel was there but did not find him.

She told the court that she later went back to the church and searched everywhere again but she could not find her son. "I inquired from the church's security guards if they had seen him. They said they had not," said Wasike adding she later made a report at Inuka Police Station.

"I went to Likoni and Inuka police stations to record statements. I also made a report at Kenya Ferry Services and nearby mosques to ask if anybody had seen him," said Wasike.

She added: "I went home and returned to the church the following morning. As I sat on the bench at the church, the bishop saw me and asked what I was doing there and I told him about my son."

Wasike said she later fell asleep. A Sunday School teacher woke her up and told her not to worry as her child would be found.

Later, she noticed a crowd in the church compound. It emerged her son had died and his body was in the back seat of the car.

"The car where my son was found was in the church compound all along as we searched for Emmanuel. I am yet to know how the boy went inside the car," she said.