River Yala Bodies: Families Identify, Collect 11 Bodies

nicholas okero, river yala
River Yala Diver Nicholas Okero who has been retrieving bodies. [Courtesy]

Out of the 26 bodies retrieved from River Yala, 11 have been positively identified by families and collected for burial, Gem Deputy Commissioner Mosero Chacha has confirmed.

According to the Standard, the Deputy County Commissioner in conjunction with relevant authorities have applied to have the remaining 15 bodies which have not been collected buried. Apparently, the bodies are yet to be claimed by the families.

“In total we have 26 bodies in our morgues. Eleven have been identified and collected while 15 are yet to be collected. We are however still doing DNA tests for families that show up to identify the bodies as we wait for the court,” Chacha said.

The story of River Yala made headlines on twitter following an expose by human rights activist Boniface Mwangi.

Read: River Yala Diver Nicholas Okero in Hiding, Claims Life in Danger

The story trended for almost one week with more revelations on the same being unmasked with links to extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture.

The bodies which were being dumped at River Yala would then be transferred to Yala sub-county hospital mortuary and booked as ‘unknown.’

The National police following public uproar was forced to issue a statement which came out as conflicting.

“In the last two years, 19 incidences involving human bodies that have been found dumped in River Yala, have been reported to the National Police Service. This number represents a cumulative body count over the stated period contrary to media reports insinuating all the incidences are a recent occurrence,” National Police Service (NPS) spokesperson Bruno Shioso said.

Read Also: Two River Yala Victims Had Pending Cases in Court

In new revelations by the Nation, the majority of the bodies that were retrieved from River Yala were either ex-police officers or ex-cons.

Notably, of all the 26 bodies, only one was a woman.

A victim, Philemon Cheruiyot Chepwony was a businessman  who ran an electronics shop and a wines and spirit shop in Nairobi’s pipeline. He reportedly went missing after taking a trip with a few friends to Nakuru. He was also an officer with the General Service Unit (GSU) Nairobi.

When Chepwony’s body was found, his hands had been tied to the back with speculations that he had been tortured before he was murdered and dumped.

Read Also: Police Claim 19 Bodies Discovered in River Yala Retrieved Over Two Years

Other identities of the victims are yet to be made public including ex-cops. For instance, one Peter Mutuku Kioo,  was an ex-police constable based in Mombasa but had been arrested on numerous occasions for armed robbery.

Kioo was also at the center of an incident in 2018 where a stolen truck was linked to him. DCI detectives working on a vehicle theft syndicate traced a stolen truck to Kioo and other crude businessmen.

Both Kioo and Chepwony had pending cases in court.

So far, Chepwony’s family has already laid him to rest while Kioo’s family is caught up in a DNA mix-up with another family which claims the body belongs to their kin. A second DNA test is set to be conducted.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email

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