NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 13 – A man, described by police as a “bloodthirsty murderer”, who confessed to killing at least 10 children has escaped from police custody under unclear circumstances.
Masten Milimo Wanjala, 20, was arrested in mid July and police said he had confessed to have killed at least ten minors in different parts of the country.
Soon after his arrest, he took police to at least six murder scenes in Nairobi’s Shauri Moyo and in Western Kenya where he had dumped the bodies and was taken to court days later.
Police were initially allowed at least 30 days to detain him so as to complete investigations but kept asking for extensions as the suspect claimed he was yet to take detectives to more murder scenes.
He was detained at the Jogoo Road police station and was due in court on October 13, but officers said they discovered him missing while verifying names of listed suspects who were also due in court for various crimes.
“We found him missing and no one knows how he escaped,” one senior police officer told Capital FM News, “he must have escaped on Tuesday.”
Three police officers said to have been on duty on Tuesday and Wednesday have recorded a statement to facilitate investigations on the suspects’ wherebouts or how he escaped.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), he was set to face murder charge even as police intensified their investigations.
“Wanjala was due to face charges for the murder of three children. Further investigations are ongoing on similar murders involving other children where he is a suspect,” the ODPP said.
His arrest was described by police as a “major breakthrough” following a spate of disturbing child disappearances that has sparked anger and protests.
Police described the suspect as a “bloodthirsty vampire”.
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.
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.
In Shauri Moyo, Nairobi, police said he led detectives to scenes where he confessed to killing and dumping two minors. Another body was recovered in Westlands.
Wanjala also led the detectives to Kabete during the search where they recovered two more victims’ bodies from a river believed have been killed by the suspect.
The suspect he is said to have committed other murders in Machakos , Bungoma
“At the last court appearance, the ODPP made an application for Wanjala to undergo a mental assessment at Mathari Hospital for purposes of presenting him to the High Court to face murder charges,” the DPP said.