The body of a 44-year-old teacher who reportedly went missing on December 22, 2022, was found nailed to a coffin inside his home in Ihururu village, Nyeri County.
Joseph Gathogo’s remains were discovered inside his living room on January 12 after a foul smell started emanating from his residence in a bizarre incident.
This prompted the homestead’s caretaker, William Gitau to alert local police who broke into the deceased’s house.
They discovered the Muhoya Secondary School computer teacher’s naked body nailed to the coffin which had been placed inside a boat-like structure that acted like a make-shift grave marker.
Police suspect, he died by suicide after swallowing poison whose bottle was found next to the coffin.
A hammer he used to nail the coffin before his death was also found there.
A bouquet of flowers, a black flag and scrolls written in Egyptian writings, and a cow horn had been placed near the boat-like structure.
Drugs suspected to be poison were also found at the scene.
On the day of his disappearance, Muhoya Assistant Chief Martha Wanjiru said Gathogo had come from supervising Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams.
He was not seen since then and neighbors only found out about Gathogo’s disappearance after his kin came to the homestead in search of him last week January 6.
They later filed a missing person’s report.
Gitau told police he last saw the deceased, who he describes as a loner who kept mostly to himself, on December 19, 2022.
The police broke into the house and found the teacher’s naked body inside a three-foot coffin in his sitting room.
He had locked himself in the house.
Nyeri County Police Commander Steve Oloo said the deceased’s body has been moved to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital mortuary for storage and post-mortem.
He added they suspect he accessed the coffin through a stool, lifted the coffin lid and covered himself inside before nailing the lid using a hammer that was found next to his body.
Oloo said police also found a torch inside that they believe he used to light up the coffin when nailing up the lid.
He also sealed all the holes with tissue paper to ensure the smell did not leak out.
But there was a leakage which alerted a caretaker.
The motive of the incident is yet to be known.