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Unsolved Death of Athi River Innocents

Decomposing bodies of two children found in police station

By Jane Mwangi

Mystery deaths in Kenya have taken ludicrous and heart wrenching proportions in the recent killing of two innocent children who were found in the boot of a car that was parked in a police station.

It is appalling to think that a gruesome crime such as this could occur right under the nose of the law, which is either an indication that criminals are taking advantage of the laxity of law enforcement or that law enforcers are criminals themselves.

The deceased minors went missing on June 11 while playing outside their house at KMC Estate in Athi River. Alvina Mutheu (3) and Henry Jacktone (4) were last seen alive on the same day when they walked into the Athi-River police station.

The owner of the crime scene car said he had gone there to pick his detained motor vehicle when he noticed a foul smell from the boot of his Toyota Belta.

The vehicle had been lying at the station for over three months after it was involved in an accident along Mombasa road on March 4. After opening the boot he noticed the curious cargo covered in a black paper bag. Upon further inspection, he discovered the two lifeless bodies.

There is an eye witness account of a businessman who runs a kiosk just outside the police gate, who claims to have seen the children enter the yard at around 11 am all by themselves, and never saw them leaving.

Two hours later, a man and a woman seeking the whereabouts of missing children came to the kiosk and asked if he had spotted the minors.The trader is reported to have directed the parents towards the police station yard where he saw the children last.

One of the theories the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is contemplating is that the minors died after suffocating inside the accident car parked at the police station yard. This is supported by the account of the owner of the vehicle who is said to have told the investigators that his vehicle had faulty locks and that anyone could have gained access.

This detail is in sharp contrast to the information given to the investigators by a traffic officer assigned to move the vehicle on May 1, to create space for more vehicles. He claimed the vehicle was securely locked and there was no way anyone could have gained access.

While it is plausible that the children wandered into the police station yard and entered the vehicle themselves, it is a bit of a stretch of the imagination, how the minors, who were barely learning to speak, walked for more than
two kilometres from their home to the police station yard, opened the boot of the vehicle, wrapped themselves in a black paper bag and shut the boot. In addition there were no blood stains on the minors or in the vehicle and the cause of death is yet to be established by a postmortem.

The second more conceivable theory, based on the account of a police informer is that rogue cops at the police station were part of a wider scheme to cover-up an accident. Sources within the investigation team said on the night when the children went missing there were reports that some children had been knocked down by a vehicle. Details of the exact location of the accident or the vehicle involved were unclear: but why the need to cover up an accident?

Six people have now been summoned for questioning by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation headquarters on the Kiambu Road. Among those summoned are police officers and the owner of the car.

The police say they have ruled out the possibility that the two little children were killed at the police station but according to press reports there are no CCTV cameras at the station.

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