Local News

Shakahola Forest To Serve As Resting Place For Unidentified Cult Victims

Hundreds of victims of controversial preacher Paul Nthenge Mackenzie’s alleged cultic teachings could be buried within the Shakahola forest due to difficulties in positively identifying their bodies through scientific means.

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor has hinted at the possibility of the unidentified bodies being interred within the forest in marked graves, facilitating future identification if DNA profiles are generated.

So far, only 34 out of the 453 bodies of the ‘Fasting to death to see Jesus’ followers have been positively identified and handed over to relatives for burial.

This leaves 419 bodies still in the process of identification.

Dr Oduor told journalists after presiding over the commencement of phase five of autopsies on the cult victims that most of the 453 bodies preserved at the Malindi Sub County Hospital morgue had not been positively identified using scientific means because their relatives had not come forward to provide DNA samples for matching.

Six out of the 24 bodies retrieved during phase five of the exhumations were examined, but the causes of death could not be established due to the high level of decomposition that had turned the bodies, which were of children, into skeletons, Dr Oduor said.

“In forensic medicine, the general principle is that if you try your best to identify someone who is not known, the body is temporarily buried in a marked grave as we wait for the analysis to come so that if a profile is generated, we will be able to identify the grave and retrieve the body,” he explained.

Dr Oduor, flanked by Homicide Director Martin Nyuguto, called upon relatives of the Shakahola victims to visit any nearby government chemist and have their DNA samples taken.

He also urged those who had already given their samples to patiently wait for the profiles to be generated, explaining that the process of extracting DNA is very complex.

Dr Oduor said the government had generated many DNA samples from the bodies and skeletons preserved at the morgue but lacked reference samples from relatives, as not many had volunteered to provide their DNA samples.

He also hinted at the termination of exhumations of bodies of the victims of Paul Nthenge Mackenzie’s cultic teachings, noting that all identified graves had been dug out.

“What will happen now is that there will be a final survey undertaken by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) throughout the forest to ensure that no human remains are left behind when we wrap up,” he said.


By Matildah Obaigwa

Comment here

instagram default popup image round
Follow Me
502k 100k 3 month ago