Shakahola massacre autopsy report; Victims were starved to death

Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor speaks to press at a past briefing. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

An autopsy conducted today at the Malindi Sub-County Hospital Mortuary shows that 10 Shakahola victims were starved to death.

Chief Government pathologist Johansen Oduor, when speaking to the media, said autopsies of one adult and nine children ranging from one and half years to ten years were carried out today.

''Most of them had features of starvation. They had no food in the stomach and the layer of fat was very small,'' said Oduor.

Further, the Chief Pathologist said two of the children had bluish discoloration of fingernails  which was caused by lack of oxygen.

''Bluish fingernails are an indication that when these people died they were not getting enough oxygen into the body. We are contemplating that maybe something happened to them to deny them oxygen which may be suffocation.''

Oduor says the postmortem examination of  bodies recovered from mass graves will continue, lasting for more than a month.

Oduor says the process has also had some challenges as some bodies had decomposed, making it difficult to estimate their time of death.

''We had initial challenges because we had to set up an x-ray on the bodies of everyone for the purpose of age estimation.”

Additionally, Oduor says the 10 bodies whose autopsy was conducted today had all their organs intact.

DNA samples have also been collected for the purposes of identification.