The body of a six-year old girl was on Sunday afternoon found in River Ngare Naro in Jericho estate on the outskirts of Nyahururu town.
According to residents, the nursery school pupil who went missing on Saturday evening is believed to have been defiled before her body was dumped in the river.
“We had assumed that the child was playing with other children outside but we become suspicious when she failed to come back for lunch on Saturday afternoon,” said Ms Anastasia Mwangi, a neighbour.
Ms Mwangi said relatives and neighbours mounted a search for her on Saturday but their concerted efforts yielded no fruit.
“We searched for the minor for the whole night and today morning women from the area joined as us in the search mission. We decided to conduct a search in the neighbouring maize plantation and that was when we spotted her body floating on the river,” added Ms Mwangi.
The residents have since called on police to conduct thorough investigations into the matter and arrest the culprits.
“It is very sad for the perpetrator to take the life of an innocent kid. We are calling on police to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter because we believe that the kid was murdered and did not drown herself,” said Ms Veronica Wanjiru.
Riverside Location Assistant Chief Patrick Kariuki, who had joined the residents in the search, said he received the reports about the disappearance of the girl on Saturday evening.
“We discovered the partly naked body floating on the river in the afternoon and we could not immediately tell if she was murdered and dumped in the river or she drowned because the body had no physical injuries,” said the administrator.
The assistant chief urged parents to take care of their children especially during school holidays.
“There are a lot of things happening in this area and I would urge parents to keep tracking the whereabouts of their children,” he added.
Confirming the incident, Nyandarua North police boss Timon Odingo said that they had launched investigations into the matter.
The body was moved to the Nyahururu County Referral Hospital mortuary.