NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 14 – Three police officers implicated in the mysterious escape of confessed serial killer Masten Wanjala were arraigned in court Thursday but no charges were read out to them.
The prosecution said detectives want 14 days to complete an investigation on how the suspect walked out of Jogoo Road police station cells, yet he was on remand for serious crimes.
Authorities said they discovered Masten missing from police cells on Thursday, prompting the arrest of Inspector Philip Mbithi, Corporal Kamakia Mutuma Boniface and Precious Mwende Mwinzi.
The officers are said to have been on duty when the serial killer fled.
The prosecution said investigators wants to take the suspects’ mobile phones for forensic examination and also look at their bank accounts to determine whether there was any collusion with the suspect who confessed to killing at least 1o young children in various parts of the country.
The court will rule Friday on the application by the prosecution.
Wanjala, who has been described by police as a “bloodthirsty murderer” and confessed to killing at least 10 children, escaped from police custody under unclear circumstances on Tuesday evening.
Police launched a manhunt for Wanjala who is considered to be a threat to the public, especially children.
Wanjala, 20, was arrested in mid July. 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.
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 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.
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.”
According to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Wanjala 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 sparked anger and protests.
Police described the suspect as a “bloodthirsty vampire”.
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.
Police data indicated that child disappearances in Kenya were averaging two daily.
Such cases of kidnappings involving school-going children, some ending up dead, have become rife in recent months and triggered panic among parents.