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I was offered a job in the military to dump bodies, suspect tells police

By Jacinta Mutura | November 21st 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Elizabeth Maua Malombe and her brother Phillip Malombe at Nanyuki Referral Hospital Mortuary.

A witness in the murder of a woman and her two children has told the police he was asked to dispose of the bodies in exchange for a job in the military.

Detectives investigating the murders said the witness, in a statement to the police, said he was promised the job if he cooperated.

The police said they recovered several documents, including a resume and academic certificates belonging to a witness, in one of houses where the victims were killed.

The bodies of 31-year-old Joyce Syombua, Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5) were recovered in a shallow grave at Kilimo in Thingithu Estate, Laikipia County on November 16.

The three are believed to have been killed in separate houses. The children’s bodies were put in an empty bathtub in one house and the mother’s in a different one within the Laikipia Airbase.

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Syombua and her two children went missing on October 26 after visiting her estranged husband Peter Mwaura Mugure, a military officer.

Mugure, and his co-accused Collins Pamba, are currently being held at Nanyuki and Narumoru police stations respectively in connection with the killings. This is after Nanyuki chief magistrate Lucy Mutai, on Monday, granted the police 21 days to hold the suspects so they can complete their investigations.

And yesterday, a postmortem revealed that Syombua was hit on the head with a blunt object causing bleeding in the brain while her two children were strangled with a rope.

Positively identified

The autopsy, by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Odour, came after the three bodies were positively identified by Syombua’s mother Elizabeth Maua Malombe. Ms Malombe was accompanied by her brother Phillip Malombe and a family friend.

Dr Oduor told journalists at Nanyuki Referral Hospital mortuary that Syombua had head injuries.

“The bodies were decomposed. We are still going to identify them scientifically to confirm their identities,” said the pathologist.

He said it was difficult to tell the possible time the three were killed. He noted the scientific analysis of the bodies would be completed in one week’s time.

“I have talked to government analysts and they said the DNA analysis will be completed in one week to confirm their identities,” said Oduor.

Oduor also noted that they have taken samples for analysis to clarify allegations the victims may have been drugged before being killed.


“It is also not easy to tell if someone is drugged in the autopsy but we have taken samples for toxicology to show if it’s true they were drugged,” said Oduor who noted the toxicological analysis could take up to three months.

Ms Maua hoped to take the bodies of her daughter and grandchildren to Kitui County for burial, but Dr Oduor said they would be handed over to the family after the DNA results are out.

Another puzzle detectives are seeking to unravel is how Syombua’s identity card was taken from Laikipia Airbase. Her mobile was also found in a matatu.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Mailanyi, who is handling the case, told the court the mobile phone would be analysed.

Homicide detectives from the DCI are part of the team investigating the case.

Mugure was arrested on November 15 after a taxi driver recorded a statement at Nanyuki Police Station revealing the soldier had asked him to get him three gunny bags and help him ferry “some luggage” but he declined.

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