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Missing bodies of mother, children found buried in shallow grave in Laikipia

Police in Laikipia have recovered three bodies of a mother and her two children who went missing three weeks ago.

The bodies of Joyce Syombua and her two children found wrapped in sacks,were exhumed from a grave in Makaburini, Thingithu area in Laikipia County Saturday evening.

Confirming the shocking discovery, Laikipia County Criminal Investigation lead officer, Peter Mwau Muinde, said DNA tests are yet to be conducted on the three to ascertain their identities.

“Our investigations led us to this scene after several informers spoke to us,” said Muinde.

“At around 4:30pm [Saturday], we recovered three bodies which we suspect belong to Joyce Syombua 31, and her children Shanice Maua 10 and Prince Michael 5. We will conduct DNA tests on the bodies to ascertain their identities,” added Muinde, who said they have been working closely with military officers to trace the missing persons.

The three went missing on October 26.

Police took the bodies to Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital morgue.

Syombua’s husband, Peter Mugure, a Nanyuki-based military officer, was on Friday, November 15, arrested in connection with the disappearances of his estranged wife and their two children.

He will be produced in court on Monday, November 18. The DCI said that they will seek to hold Mugure in custody for longer as they piece together evidence that could link the suspect to the mother-and-children’s October 26, 2019 disappearances.

Mugure, who is being held at Nanyuki Police Station, was arrested on Friday, November 15, after recording a statement in regard to his kinpersons’ disappearances.

It has been established that Syombua, Shanice and Michael, who stay in Kayole, Nairobi, visited Mugure at his Nanyuki barracks residence on October 25 upon Mugure’s invitation.

Police say that Syombua and Mugure, who had been in an on-and-off relationship for 13 years, had an agreement that Syombua allows the children to regularly visit Mugure. That agreement was arrived at after a Nairobi court granted Syombua sole custody of the children.

According to Syombua’s mother, Maua Malombe, her daughter’s relationship with Mugure was frosty by the time she went missing.

Call and text records show that on October 25 and 26, Syombua regularly communicated with her female friend, telling her that Mugure had taken the children out, but did not return home with them.

When Syombua reportedly asked where Mugure had left the children, he allegedly told her that he dropped them at his friend’s place so that they [Syombua and Mugure] could have a private time to iron out their differences.

Syombua’s friend would later call her at 7pm on October 26, but her phone line was not reachable.
Syombua’s husband, Mugure, told police that he escorted the mother-of-two and the kids to a Nanyuki bus stage on October 26, where they boarded a Nairobi-bound matatu.

According to the suspect, that was the last time he interacted with his family.
Syombua’s mother, Maua Malombe, now wants DCI boss George Kinoti to personally take up the matter.
(Additional reporting by Paul Mwaniki in Laikipia County)


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