Kayole family murder: Children were strangled — pathologist

Wednesday November 20 2019

Joyce Syombua, the estranged wife of Major Peter Mugure, and her two children, who were reported missing on October 27, died painful deaths, postmortem results show.

Ms Syombua, 31, died as a result of multiple blows to the head while her children, Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5) were strangled.

The postmortem examinations were conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary in Laikipia County yesterday and was witnessed by forensic experts, detectives and lawyers.

Dr Oduor said it was difficult to tell the timelines of the murder “as the bodies had decomposed."

Although Ms Syombua’s mother, Maua Malombe, positively identified the bodies as those of her daughter and grandchildren, Dr Oduor said their identity remains presumptive until DNA tests are conducted.

“This is only presumptive because of the state of the bodies but we are already doing DNA analysis which should be available within a week or so,” Dr Oduor said.


This means the three cannot be buried until the DNA results are out.

Ms Syombua’s family, which had earlier expressed concern about their security, arrived at the mortuary at 9am accompanied by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Homicide Department. A contingent of undercover police was also deployed at the mortuary. Conspicuously missing were the military police. The Nation has since learnt that the Serious Crimes Unit and homicide detectives from DCI have taken a lead in investigations.

After identifying the bodies, Ms Malombe and two other relatives sat quietly under a tree outside the mortuary as the postmortems were carried out.

Four hours later, the team emerged from the mortuary. The detectives, led by Laikipia East DCI boss Jacob Muriithi, then ushered Syombua’s mother in and briefed her for about 20 minutes.

She remained calm throughout, then immediately headed for a police car that sped off.

The forensic analysts collected samples from the bodies and will conduct toxicology tests to establish whether the children were conscious or had been drugged when they were killed.