NAIROBI, Kenya July 18 – Kenyan police on Saturday said a man had confessed to raping and murdering five young girls, just days after another man was accused of killing at least 10 children in a separate spree.
The arrests were described by investigators as a “major breakthrough” following a spate of disturbing child disappearances that has sparked anger and protests.
In the latest case, police said Evans Juma Wanjala walked detectives through his “ghastly missions” in western Kenya where the decomposing bodies of the victims aged 10 to 15 were found in secluded areas.
Police said Wanjala, who was already wanted for allegedly raping two minors, provided a “chilling” account of abducting, assaulting and strangling the five girls during an 18-month spree.
“The paedophile led detectives to the scene of every murder that he had committed, where charred remains of the murdered minors had earlier been recovered,” said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Twitter on Saturday.
Forensic analysis at the crime scenes later allegedly connected Wanjala to the victims, the DCI added.
The discovery on June 15 of his last-known victim, a 13-year-old girl, triggered street protests in Kenya‘s west.
“The modus operandi of the paedophile was replicated in all the other four murders where the victims were first defiled before being strangled to death and left in the bushes to be devoured by wild beasts,” the DCI said.
Wanjala will face court charged with murder, police said.
– ‘Major breakthrough’ –
On Wednesday, another man was arrested, described by police as a “bloodthirsty vampire”. He allegedly admitted to the brutal murder of at least 10 children.
Masten Milimo Wanjala, of no relation to the other accused, was arrested over the disappearance of two children but confessed to killing many more, police said.
The 20-year-old took officers to the site where he had dumped their bodies in a forested area of the capital.
He was accused of killing his victims “in the most callous manner, sometimes through sucking blood from their veins before executing them”, the DCI said.
The murders, targeting 12- and 13-year-olds, stretch back five years and the bodies of several children feared to have died at his hands have yet to be found.
A Nairobi court ordered he be held in custody for 30 days to give police more time to investigate the case.
Child disappearances in Kenya had reached almost two a day in recent weeks, according to police data.
Such cases of kidnappings involving school-going children, some ending up dead, have become rife in recent months and triggered panic among parents.
“The arrest of these two suspects is a major breakthrough in our investigations, they will face justice,” said George Kinoti, the Director of Criminal Investigations, who urged parents to keep a close watch on their children.