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Second suspect denies killing Joyce Syombua, her 2 children

Thursday December 19 2019

Syombua murder suspect Collins Pamba

Mr Collins Pamba, the second suspect in the murder of Ms Joyce Syombua and her two children, at the High Court in Nyeri County on December 19, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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A casual worker at the Laikipia Military Air Base was on Thursday charged in connection to the brutal murder of a woman and her two children in Nanyuki town.

Mr Collins Pamba, 21, is accused of being an accomplice in the murder of 34-year-old Joyce Syombua, her 11-year-old daughter Shanice Maua and her son Prince Michael, five.

Mr Pamba is said to have committed the crime alongside former military officer, Major Peter Mugure, Ms Syombua's estranged husband and the prime suspect in the case.

Mr Pamba is suspected to have helped him bury the bodies at a cemetery in Makaburini area in Thingithu, a short distance from the air base.


Mr Pamba was charged after undergoing a mandatory mental evaluation at Nyeri Country Referral Hospital on Wednesday.


He denied killing Ms Syombua and her children and pleaded for release on bond when he appeared before Justice Jairus Ngaah.

Through his lawyer, Mr Wambui Mwai, the suspect also sought orders compelling the State to serve him with witness statements and any other documentary evidence the prosecution will use during the trial.

State Counsel Peter Mailanyi told the court that the prosecution will oppose the accused’s bond application when it is heard on January 20, 2020.

“The investigating officer will file an affidavit stating the grounds of opposition," Mr Mailanyi said, but added that the documents sought will be provided.

Justice Ngaah directed the investigating officer to file the affidavit within 14 days, and set the pretrial conference for January 20.


Ms Syombua and her children were last seen on October 25, 2019, when they travelled from Nairobi to Nanyuki to visit Mr Mugure at the army barracks.

On October 27, a missing persons report was filed at Soweto Police Station, under Occurrence Book number 25/27/10/2019, and investigations launched.

On November 16, Mr Mugure led police to the cemetery where the bodies were found in a gunny bag in a shallow grave.