Body of missing student found floating in river

The 17-year old Cynthia Makokha who died under mysterious circumstances and body found dumped in Lusumu river in Shianda, Kakamega County. [Mumo Munuve,Standard]

A family is seeking answers after a 17-year-old girl was found dead. The body of Cynthia Makokha was found floating in River Lusumu.

Cynthia was a Form Four student at Kibera Secondary School in Nairobi.

According to Mumias sub-county police commander Stephen Muoni, the body was discovered by residents of East Wanga last Sunday.

Police have arrested a boda boda rider in whose house the student’s bag and mobile phone were recovered.

The girl, who was preparing to sit her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam, set off on October 4 to see her parents in Emanyasa village in Mumias East constituency.

Florence Wanga told The Standard that her daughter left Nairobi at around 7am, but never reached home as expected.

“My sister Carolyne who stays with Cynthia called to inform us that our daughter had boarded a Mumias-bound bus in the morning. She called again at around 4pm, saying the bus was at Kapsabet and even shared Cynthia’s contact,” said Ms Wanga.

She sensed something was amiss when she called the daughter. 

“Cynthia could not communicate clearly; she was sobbing, the call disconnected abruptly before I could inquire what was happening to her.”

Cynthia later sent a message, saying she had run out of airtime. 

“We sent her some airtime but she never called until at around 8pm when she told her father that she was stranded in Butere.

Cynthia’s father Chrispiners Makanga and some uncles then left for Butere town. 

When they got to Butere, Cynthia was nowhere to be seen and could not be reached on phone either.

Late in the night, a message was sent to Carolyne, Cynthia’s aunt.

“The message said she was safe and would travel home the following morning, however it never indicated where she was,” said Vitalis Wanga, the student’s uncle.

A photo of a known boda boda rider appeared on Cynthia’s Facebook account hours later. The family reported the matter at Shianda Police Station before storming the man’s house. They found Cynthia’s bag and mobile phone.

Police visited Teso in Busia County where the suspect has relations, but did not find the girl.

A villager claimed that it was not the first time the suspect had been accused of abduction. The victims, he said, are always trafficked to a neighbouring country.

On Sunday, a relative called the family, saying a body had been spotted floating in River Lusumu and it turned out to be Cynthia’s.

A post-mortem showed that the pupil had been defiled then strangled.

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