Serving The People

Girl resurfaces years after presumed dead

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Photo From left, Jeliah's aunt Ruth Monyangi carries Jeliah's daughter Shamarah, Jeliah Kerubo (centre) and Daniel Mokoro (right) at their Kiabonyoru home on 17th January. PHOTO/ Dan Nyamanga)

Residents of Kiabonyoru village in Borabu Constituency are utter shock after a girl whom they presumed died and buried after her dissapearance a year ago resurfaced earlier January this year.

Jeliah Kerubo, a total orphan living with her uncle, whom her uncle says was impregnated by a unknown male one evening in 2018; By then, in standard seven and merely 13 years mysteriosly dissappeared from home.

Jeliah Kerubo, 15, resurfaced on 16th January 2020 after a year in ‘exile’ and even relatives burying her decomposed ‘body’ discovered eight months later in Eng’enta village ,kilometers away where she lived with her uncle.

When journalists visited Mr.Daniel Mokoro’s (her uncle) home in Kiabonyoru village in Borabu Constituency,  the compound was full of activities as neighbors, and friends visited them to see the resurrected girl,now a mother of a girl child.

Jeliah,who looked shy,probably by what she had put the uncle’s family through, took time to narrate to the journalists what she had been through, a year later.

Jeliah said she decided to leave her uncle’s home for shame of becoming a mother at a tender age.

“I was too shy to be around the compound, pregnant.I decided I should just go away until when I delivered”, she said , as tears rolled freely down her cheeks.

Kerubo said she had four thousand shillings which she used to travel to Siaya, where she hoped she would release her stress and come back.

On reaching Siaya that day, January 11 2019, she met a lady friend who after exchanging greetings and narrating her ordeal, offered to give her (Jeliah) a shoulder to lean on until she delivered. 

“On reaching Siaya, I met a lady friend and after sometime I opened up and told her my tribulations. She accepted to give me shelter until I delivered. Like that I went to her house.

That’s where I have been until I decided to come back home with my kid Shamara ,on Thursday 16th”, she added.

For the one year she was in Siaya, things have not been okay to the uncle and his family. They have been rebelled as killers of Jeliah as she never informed anyone of where she vanished to.

They lost friends too who didn’t want to be associated with the ‘killer’ family.

Mr Daniel Mokoro,who is also a director at Sang’anyi tea factory,  told of peace that settled in his heart when the niece first called on 31st of December 2019.

“I didn’t trust my ears, to be certain,  I handed over the phone to my wife (Ruth Monyangi) to talk to the lady on the other hand who claimed to be our daughter Jeliah. After a lengthy chat, my wife confirmed indeed it was Jeliah”, said Mokoro, a retired KDF officer. 

Though she did not disclose her location, Mokoro said, they started making constant communication with Jeliah until when she said she was ready to come home.

Eight months after her disappearance,  a decomposed and charred body of a lady was retrieved from Eng’enta manhole in a nearby Egentubi village.

After visiting the Nyamira County referral mortuary where it was kept, Mokoro and his close family members denied it was not the remains of Jeliah.

Though, Mokoro said, relatives of Jeliah insisted that the body was hers and proceeded to burying it on October 2019 in South Mugirango.

Mokoro says he never attended the burial neither was he informed of the burial arrangements after distancing himself from the corpse found.

He insisted that Jeliah was not dead and maybe one day she will appear,as she did on Thursday. 

“One local radio station has really injured my reputation having judged me to be a killer and that am the one who impregnated my niece, I thank God, he has exonerated me and brought back my daughter who has known this to be her home for over seven years since her mother passed on”, added Mokoro.

Jeliah said she wants to go back to school and persue her dream of becoming a doctor. 

Questions now linger on whether the a DNA test was done before the body was interred.

Nyamira North Sub County  police commander Patrick Ngeiywa said investigations could commence to ascertain whether due process was followed to bury the presumed Jeliah and whether an exhumation  would be done now that Jeliah is a live.