Pathologists completed phase one of the autopsies on bodies of victims of the Shakahola massacre with a total of 112 bodies having been examined since Monday.
Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor said all the 112 bodies had all their internal organs intact, although most had been severely decomposed, thus discounting speculations that there could have been incidents of organ harvesting.
Speaking at the Malindi Sub County Hospital Mortuary during the daily media briefing, Dr. Oduor said the team of pathologists and detectives carried out 12 post-mortems – seven bodies of females and four of men while they could not determine the sex of one due to its level of decomposition.
He said five of the 12 bodies, whose autopsies were done Friday, were fresh and that the pathologists were able to get more fact from them.
“One person had died in hospital and from the hospital report, the person had gone there with severe dehydration and malnutrition because of not feeding, leading to kidney failure that could have led to their death,” he said.
Dr. Oduor said four of the victims had died of head injuries although three had chronic illnesses such as anaemia while two had features of starvation. The team was unable to determine the cause of death for two of the victims.
He said one family was able to identify one of the bodies positively but samples of DNA had to be taken from the family because of uniformity as they are taking DNA from each and every person.
He said 13 families turned up for DNA sample taking so the samples can be compared with those of the bodies.
Dr. Oduro said focus will now be directed on phase two of the exhumation exercise in the Shakahola forest and that detectives and pathologists would start identifying more graves Saturday in readiness for the exercise.
“We intend to commence the process of exhumations. A team will be going there tomorrow to look at the grounds to determine whether it is ready for the second phase of exhumations before more autopsies could be done,” he said.
Mr. Kinyanjui Thuo from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) said the exercise had been conducted professionally and above board, thus dispelling concerns that the government was carrying out the autopsies in an opaque manner.
“We have been here for the last five days and we can confirm that the team did a commendable job. In fact, they exceeded expectations,” Thuo said.
He confirmed that all the internal organs of the bodies whose post-mortems were done were intact.
“The commission will give its comprehensive statement much later but I think it is important to commend the government agencies that are working under very difficult situation but who have also been able to do everything professionally,” he said.
By Emmanuel Masha