Body of one of the four Kitengela friends exhumed
Zadock Angira and Baraka Karama
For Elijah Obuong, one of the four men who were kidnapped in Kitengela, Kajiado county and their bodies later found dumped in a river –the final resting place was not so final after all.
Good intentions only go so far. On Wednesday night, unknown people believed to have been accompanied by his mother sneaked to the grave, exhumed his body in Songhor West in Muhoroni, Kisumu county, and took it to an unknown destination.
County Police Commander Samwel Anampiu said the main suspect, Carolyne Obuong, led a team of six men to the deceased cousin, Daniel Ogago in Hollo village where Obuong was buried on May 15.
The mother and the group suspected to be from Uyoma in Siaya county drove to the compound in a hearse whose registration number was not taken.
Obuong and his three friends -Benjamin Imbai, 30, Brian Oduor 36 and Jack Ochieng 37 –went missing on April 19 after being abducted by unknown men.
Following the bizarre incident, detectives are now handling at least four possible crime scenes –where he was kidnapped; killed, where the body was dumped in the river, and now the place which was hitherto his final resting place.
According to Anampiu, the team, after exhuming the body, removed and wrapped it in a body bag and reburied the empty coffin before they drove away in a hearse. “We are yet to establish their motive because what they did was purely illegal. The matter is under investigation and we are tracking down a close family member whom we believe organised the illegal exhumation,” Anampiu said.
The family, police said, was opposed to the burial of Obuong (pictured) at his aunt’s place. Under Section 137 of the Penal Code, it is an offence to hinder burial of a dead body and to exhume or harm a body. Such offences are, however, not considered serious offences.
The body of Obuong was found near Mukungai stream in Murang’a and taken to the local mortuary on April 24. His body was stuffed in a gunny bag that had been tied with ropes.
The body had minimal physical injuries save for a few ones seen on the head.
Obuong’s young brother, Michael Amollo later positively identified the body at the morgue.
Amollo said they identified his brother through a tattoo of his name ‘Elly’ inscribed on his left hand.
An autopsy conducted at the Murang’a County Referral Hospital morgue detailed that Obuong died of strangulation.
In May last year, an elderly woman in Bomet and her son were also arrested for attempting to exhume the body of her husband, 10 years after his death.
Nancy Mitei from Kipkebe village and her son claimed that as a married man, the deceased should have been buried on his land.
She accused some family members of blocking her from cultivating her husband’s land, alleging that they were not duly married.