Body snatchers leave trail in fear


Many of us believe that when somebody dies they rest in peace without any disturbance.

Bur for Mr. Michael Okello, it no longer feels at ease getting back to his parents’ home, which is often through a narrow, sandy and bushy path.

For decades, this path had been part of the little known Rabungu home in Kadianga Village, Nyakach constituency in Kisumu County.

Family members used it as a shortcut to the Homa Bay-Katito road. For Mr Okello, using his once favourite passage has turned into a nightmare.

On April 9, the village woke up to a bizarre incident.

The body of Joyce Auma, who was buried more than two years ago, was missing from her grave.

Auma was Mr Okello’s eldest daughter. She had a turbulent marriage and her in-laws in Migori County seized her belongings and sent her away when her husband died in 2011.



Shortly after she returned back to her Father’s house she was married to a man from Seme in two years.

To everyone surprise the marriage did not last during the time she felt ill in which she passed on in January 2016.

Mr Okello says his heart has not known peace from the time her body was taken away. He is reminded of his daughter whenever he uses the path, which is near the grave.

The vegetation that covers the grave does not make him forget the shocking act at his parents’ home.

“I wonder why anyone should destroy our peace by taking away her body,” he told the Nation.

“I don’t like following that path. Whenever I reach there, all that comes to my mind is Auma. I am angry.”



At a Village named Kouko which is in Homa Bay County, the residents do not understand why the grave of an elderly woman who died in 2015 disappeared after being dug up.

The open grave of Hellena Anyango was spotted by a group from a local church on May 7.

The grave bandits however left the coffin and the woman’s clothes.

The incident at Mr Okello’s home was the first in Nyakach. For Rangwe residents, however, the exhumation of Anyango’s body was one of the many they have heard of in recent years.

West Kagan chief Kennedy Okoko told sources that a villager was once found exhuming a body.



The man fled the area when word went round of Anyango’s exhumation.

“He was seen walking around the village with strangers. We believe he sells the bones. He has been pleading with residents to allow him dig up bodies for a fee,” the West Kagan chief said.

Even elders are baffled by the bizarre incidents.

Luo Council of Elders Secretary-General Adera Osawa he had never heard of such incidents and linked them to witchcraft.

“The world is full of evil. Some people believe their problems can only be solved by witchdoctors,” he said.

His words were echoed by Mr Owino Nyadi, the executive director of the council, who said abandonment of culture has resulted in such practices.