, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – The body of a Garissa University College student killed during the April Al Shabaab attack was exhumed Saturday in Kitui, after she was buried by the wrong family in a case of mistaken identity.
Philomena Kasyoka’s family had buried Risper Kasyoka’s body after a mix-up which saw their fingerprints swapped.
Following the exhumation, Risper’s father Isaac Mutisya stated that the family could now gain closure after the ordeal which he termed as traumatic.
“I am very thankful since it has been a very long journey and I hope that the DNA examination to be performed on her will confirm that it is her. I would also want to thank the government since it undertook the very hard task of unravelling the mix-up,” he said.
Philomena’s family on the other hand described the whole situation as traumatic and stated that they will be looking forward to finally lay their daughter to rest.
“This was a very painful experience especially to both families and even after we buried, we were thinking that we had buried our own. It turned out that it was not our own and to do a repeat is going to be as very painful experience. But as for now, we are sure that the body we are going to bury is our daughter. For now we are sure by all means that the person we are going to lay in the grave is our own daughter,” her father Munywoki Isombo stated.
A survivor of the attack Simon Munuve recalled sad memories of the tragic day and stated that both Philomena and Risper were his best friends.
“The aftermath of that attack is still fresh in my mind because when I remember the casualties are those who were brutally killed and most of them were my classmates, my course mates and specifically Risper and Philomena Kasyoka were my best friends with whom we shared different ideas in different areas,” he recalled.
“I still do not believe that they were killed because I still have their photos in my phone and even their numbers. This makes me very sad and have tears because it was the lowest moment in my life when I learnt that they are no longer there.”
The CID made the discovery of the mix-up last month after a period of investigations and confirmed it through DNA samples.
Isombo’s family has been handed another body which had been lying at Chiromo Mortuary since the April terror attack, which tests revealed belonged to Philomena Kasyoka, their daughter.
According to police, the two girls shared a name which led to mix up.
The Al Shabaab left 147 people dead, most of whom were Garissa University College students, during the attack on April 2.