The house of the father to the suspect is set ablaze

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There was uproar as 9 year old Sharlene Mwanzia, a standard three pupil at ST Joseph’s Academy who went missing on Sunday was found dead.

The victim body was found dumped in a water tank behind her parents rented home in scheme estate.

Uncle to the victim, Oscar Mulu said he heard a foul smell and called on other residents who helped to identify where it was originating from.

“We checked around the plot and found the smell was coming from the suspect house and the water tank behind the house. We checked the tank and saw the body around 3pm on Friday,” he said.

He alerted the police who came and removed the body which has been taken to Kakamega county referral hospital for post mortem.

“It is difficult to establish the kidnappers’ intentions. The most painful bit is that it was planned by a neighbour who is also a tenant here,” he said.

When the body was found, residents protested by burning the suspect beddings, utensils and clothes.

The enraged residents also set ablaze property belonging to the suspect’s family including a storey building he had put up for rentals.

Tenants were forced to vacate the building and seek refuge elsewhere.

Police carry the deceased's body

Police officers led by OCPD Joseph Chebii struggled to keep the angry crowd at bay, as they ferried the body to the mortuary.

“We are still investigating the matter and we urge the public who knows the whereabouts of the suspect to alert officers,” he said.

The girl's father, Oswald Mwanzia and the mother left with the police to record statement at the police station.

“We cannot continue losing innocent children because of laxity and selfish people. Security should be beefed up for the sake of our children safety.”

A resident, Mary Khakasa said they are worried of their children safety and asked police to beef up security and prosecute the suspects.

“The kidnappers are targeting school going children who are not accompanied by adults. Parents are worried their children might become victims of the suspected Satanists. It seems the body was strangled and cut before being thrown in the tank,” Khakasa said.

The nine year old was playing with her two younger brothers in their compound on Sunday when she went missing.

Neighbours said a stranger had approached the girl and was seen talking to her at the gate before she went missing.

They said the man has been approaching young girls in the estate and trying to lure them to accompany him.

Occurrences of ritual killings in Kakamega, which are linked to devil worshipping, have caused panic among residents.

In June 2014, the body of Deborah Achieng, a standard seven pupil at Nabongo Primary School, was found mutilated. Some of her body parts were chopped off and dumped at a church’s entrance in Kakamega on a Sunday morning.

The 12-year-old girl’s murder led to several protests by residents who blamed the police for laxity and failure to arrest the culprits.

A suspect was arrested and later released by police, leading to more protests from angry residents.

In March 2014, Kakamega residents also witnessed a bizarre incident where a child aged six was found murdered and his body dumped in a trench in the town.

The same year, a nursery school pupil at Bridge Academy was also found dumped in a trench after missing for a day.

The father of the suspect linked to disappearance of a nine year old girl is currently in police custody. He was arrested on Wednesday when residents attacked his home wanting to know where the suspect is.