On Monday morning, five-year-old Ian Kitheka Kisilu woke up in high spirits and after breakfast, he bid goodbye to his father and mother as he left for school.
On his way to Katumbu Pre-school in Kitui East, he was joined by his playmates and friends — children from the neighbouring homes.
Together, they made fast, little steps on a village footpath as they rushed to start classes on time.
All was well until they approached school: a man emerged from the bushes and started chasing the now terrified children.
They scampered for safety but the stranger focused on Ian as the rest fled towards the school.
The minor was not so lucky as the man, now confirmed to have been mentally ill, caught up with him and pushed him onto the ground.
According to Mrs Mary Muvengei, the Kanduti Location Chief, the man dragged the wailing boy towards a nearby bush in broad daylight, strangled him to death before slitting his throat with a knife.
“After killing the boy, he beheaded him and fled further carrying the bleeding head, leaving the other body (torso) at the scene,” said Ms Muvengei.
The incident was not discovered until midday when the class teacher took a roll call of the pupils and asked about the whereabouts of Ian from other pupils.
Forgot to report kidnapping
It turned out that the children had forgotten to report about the kidnapping of their classmate by a mad man to the class teacher. The teacher notified the school’s headteacher who in turn quickly reported the matter to the area chief and the police.
More than 200 villagers were quickly mobilised to search for the boy, led by teachers and the area chief.
The group was shocked to find the beheaded body of the little boy and his cloths some yards away from the footpath.
More shocking details emerged when the group found that the mad man had roasted and eaten the boy’s head in the bush.
The villagers proceeded to search for the man whom they caught up with at around 2pm. He was stoned to death and his body set on fire.
However, information coming from the family has pointed to Ian’s life being more tragic than any five-year-old should ever have to endure.
Before meeting his death, the child had been sodomised just two weeks ago, his father, Kisilu Kisovi, told the Nation Tuesday.
The nursery school boy was sexually assaulted by a neighbour who was arrested and charged at the Kitui Law Courts, but the trial was yet to start when he was brutally killed.
According to Mr Kisovi, the sodomy case was pending in court and the suspect, Katende Mwikali Mutisya, was out on bond.
But even before the court hearing could start, the family and the neighbours in Kanduti, Kitui East were shocked when his life was cut short.
“This is strange. We can’t understand the turn of events but we suspect there’s a satanic connection between the sodomy and the abduction,” said the distraught parent.
The two bodies were later collected by police and taken to Kitui Level Four Hospital mortuary, as investigations into the incident were launched.