Three Kenyan police officers were charged on Friday with helping a “bloodthirsty vampire” child murderer escape from their custody last week, before a mob lynched him over the killings.
Masten Milimo Wanjala — a self-confessed serial killer — was arrested on July 14 over the disappearance of two children, but, in a chilling confession, admitted to the brutal murder of at least 10 others.
He was accused of killing his victims over a five-year period “in the most callous manner, sometimes through sucking blood from their veins before executing them”, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said at the time.
The 20-year-old was due in court on October 13 in Nairobi over the murders which targeted 12- and 13-year-old children, when officers noticed during the morning roll call that he had disappeared.
But a mob caught up with him two days later after he was identified by schoolchildren at his rural home in Bungoma, more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the police station he had fled.
Three officers who were on duty at the Nairobi police station where he was held were charged Friday with two counts “of aiding a prisoner to escape and neglect of duty”.
They denied the charges and were released on bail.
Police had in July described Wanjala’s arrest as a major breakthrough in an investigation into a spate of disturbing child disappearances in the East African country.
His victims were drugged and drained of their blood and some of them strangled, police said.
According to police, Wanjala’s first victim was a 12-year-old girl he kidnapped five years ago in Machakos county east of Nairobi.
The murder of his next victim in western Kenya sparked protests, with locals torching the house of the person they suspected killed the boy.
“Unbeknownst to some of the worried families, their children were long executed by the beast and their remains dumped in thickets. Others were submerged in sewer lines in the city and left to rot away,” the DCI said in July.
The bodies of several children feared to have died at Wanjala’s hands have yet to be found.
The next hearing into the case is on November 4.