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No police burial rites as Caroline Kangogo laid to rest in wedding gown

By Betty Njeru | July 29th 2021

A convoy escorts the body of Police Corporal Caroline Kangogo to Nyawa village, Elgeyo Marakwet County. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Even in death, Corporal Caroline Jemutai Kangogo was not honoured with a police escort, casket watch or a guard of honour.

Often when a member of the Forces or Service dies, his or her colleagues conduct a funeral parade to honour and celebrate their life. A pall (cloth covering the casket) would be supported by officers of the same rank as that held by the deceased.

But on Thursday, as Kangogo was laid to rest at Nyawa Village in Elgeyo Marakwet County, she was not accorded police burial rites as is the norm.

Her family is still at pains over her death, describing her as a “luscious fruit that God picked from earth”.

Kangogo died of a bullet injury to the head on July 16.

Her parents, Barnabas and Leah Korir, on Thursday said they were still reeling from shock, disbelief and denial over the circumstances leading to her death, but chose to celebrate the time she shared with them.

“You dedicated most of your time, energy and resources to ensure that your children were well-disciplined, educated and provided for,” they said in their tribute.

Kangogo’s in-laws said they had lined up so many things together, but it was unfortunate that their plans won’t materialise.

“We wish we knew what exactly happened that moment. If we could talk to you, you would tell us why this happened.”

KTN News reported that the officer is being buried according to her wishes – dressed in a white wedding gown, noted in a series of text messages she left behind.

Hundreds gathered at the Anin grounds to bid Kangogo farewell.

Born on January 10, 1987, Kangogo was the firstborn child in their family.

She enrolled to the National Police Service in 2008, where she rose through the ranks to the position of corporal until her tragic death on July 16, 2021.

In 2014, Kangogo was certified as a sharp shooter at a Shooting Range Training.

An autopsy conducted on Tuesday by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor revealed the cause of death was an injury by the bullet that went through the spine to the brain and skull.

The postmortem and burial, which were to be conducted last week, were postponed at the last minute, after a stand-off between State and the family.

The officer was the main suspect in the murder of a police officer in Nakuru and a businessman in Juja.

On July 15, Kangogo’s mother stumbled on her body inside a bathroom at their home in Nyawa, Keiyo North.

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