Missing Kenyan Catholic Priest Found Dead, Buried, Body Exhumed

Late Kenyan Fr. Michael Kyengo of Machakos diocese who was found murdered and buried, his body exhumed and taken to mortuary on October 16, 2019

A Kenyan Catholic priest who had been reported missing since mid-last week has been found dead and buried and his “disfigured” body, which was in a sack has been exhumed, sources have told ACI Africa Wednesday, October 16.

The late Fr. Michael Kyengo, a diocesan priest of Machakos diocese in Kenya, had left his ancestral home in Tala, Machakos County, Tuesday (October 8) where he was on leave and had told his “family members he will be away on Wednesday so from Thursday they could not find him on phone,” Fr. Francis Maundu, the financial administrator of Machakos diocese has told ACI Africa.

“I went this morning to the ground with priests from Machakos diocese and other priests from Embu diocese to meet the policemen who were already there on the ground with a suspect,” Fr. Francis Maundu narrated to ACI Africa the events of Wednesday morning, October 16 in Embu, some 120 kilometres northeast of Nairobi towards Mount Kenya.

“The CID (Directorate of Criminal Investigations) exhumed the body for us to identify,” Fr. Maundu said and added, “What was surprising, the body was in a sack, it was so disfigured even his head that we could not identify him.”

According to Fr. Maundu, Fr. Kyengo’s family members had reported to Tala police station in Machakos county about their inability to trace their kin, 43-year-old priest, Fr. Michael Kyengo.

The police had traced Fr. Kyengo’s whereabouts through his mobile phone where a suspect was found having the phone and driving Fr. Kyengo’s car, Fr. Maundu has told ACI Africa.

Taking into account the disfigured body found buried in a grave, Fr. Maundu has said, “Right now, we are relying on what the suspect said that the body that was buried in the sack was for our priest. Otherwise, we could not identify him.”

He added, “The police will carry out forensic test so as to have the right identification.”

The late Father’s car, Fr. Maundu also said, "is under the custody of the police at the Nairobi headquarters."

“Fr. Kyengo went for holiday at the beginning of this month,” Fr. Josephat Kyambuu told ACI Africa about his colleague and added, “he was to be back in the parish at the end of this (October) month.”

“He has been working in this parish of Thatha since his ordination in 2012,” the parish priest of Thatha, Fr. Kyambuu who has been staying with the late priest disclosed to ACI Africa.

The body of the late priest has been transferred to Montezuma Monalisa funeral home Machakos, some 63 kilometres southeast of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]