Shakahola doomsday cult death toll climbs to 201 after 22 more bodies exhumed

Shakahola doomsday cult death toll climbs to 201 after 22 more bodies exhumed

Forensic experts and homicide detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) sort exhumed bodies of suspected followers of a Christian cult named Good News International Church, who believed that they would go to heaven if they starved themselves to death, in Shakahola forest of Kilifi County. PHOTO | REUTERS

Searchers for survivors and victims of a doomsday cult in Shakahola forest discovered 22 more bodies on Saturday, according to a regional governmental official.

The discoveries bring the death toll of one of the country's worst tragedies to 201.

"Our forensic team was able to exhume 22 bodies today but we have not reported any rescue," Rhodah Onyancha, Coast Regional Commissioner, told journalists in the Shakahola forest in the country's southwest where the search is continuing.

She said one more suspect had also been arrested, bringing the total number of those detained over the deaths to 26.

Throughout this week authorities have been digging up shallow graves scattered through the forest looking for remains and scouring the area for any survivors as hundreds of people are still reported missing.

On Friday, 29 bodies were unearthed, including those of 12 children which were found in one grave.

On Wednesday, a Kenyan court denied bail to Paul Mackenzie, leader of the Good News International Church, who has been accused of ordering his followers to starve their children and themselves to death so they could go to heaven before the end of the world.


Starvation Paul Mackenzie Shakahola forest Rhodah Onyancha

Want to send us a story? SMS to 25170 or WhatsApp 0743570000 or Submit on Citizen Digital or email

Leave a Comment


No comments yet.

latest stories