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Police Release Statement After 19 Bodies Retrieved From River

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The National Police Service has issued a statement after 19 bodies were retrieved from River Yala in Siaya County.

In a statement dated Wednesday, January 19, and signed by the police spokesperson, Bruno Shioso, it was revealed that a special unit had been formed to investigate the matter.

The police stated that the team made of officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had started their investigations and would unravel the mystery behind the high number of bodies.

“A team from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations was appointed and tasked with investigations that have been ongoing on the incidences,” read the statement in part.

Additionally, NPS stated that another team of forensic experts had been deployed to the area to help in the investigations.

Shioso stated that the team would help in the identification of the bodies which have been unclaimed and stored at the Yala Sub County Level IV Hospital Mortuary.

“To speed up the identification of the victims and other forensic investigations, a special forensic investigation team from the DCI headquarters has been dispatched to the scene at River Yala and the Tala Sub County Level IV hospital to assist with further investigations,” read the statement in part.

The spokesperson added that the growing number at the mortuary was caused by the failure of members of the public in identifying their loved ones.

“Despite repeated appeals to the public, no one has come forward to claim the bodies that are lying at the Yala Sub County Level IV hospital.” 

However, NPS refuted reports that the 19 bodies had been retrieved in the past three months. In the statement, the police stated that the incidents had occurred for the past two years.

The statement by NPS comes after a public uproar from Kenyans who demanded that the Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai, opens up investigations into the matter.

While speaking to the media on January 17, Nicholas Okero, a local diver who has been retrieving the bodies stated that he was shocked by the number of bodies that he has collected since 2021.

He stated that there had been unusual activities at the river by unknown men during the wee hours of the night.

“It never used to be like this. Right now we are also shocked by what is happening because some of the gunny bags are well sewed like a parcel.

“They are not people from here, they are brought from other places and dumped at the bridge,”  the diver stated.

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