- Police suspect he slipped out as they separated those to be taken to court from those who stayed behind.
- Wanjala was yet to take formal plea to multiple child murder charges lea into his alleged murder probe
Self-confessed blood-drinking child killer Masten Milimo Wanjala has escaped from Nairobi police on the day he was to enter a plea to multiple murders.
Wanjala, 25, escaped from Jogoo Road police station cells on Wednesday morning as remandees and others were being separated from the general population.
He has led police to crime scenes, reenacted them, made voice recordings and showed investigators his scrapbook detailing the murders.
He often posed as a football coach.
He was expected in court for mention of some cases under investigation. He was expected to plead to five of 14 cases. All but one were boys and most were drugged, then strangled or bludgeoned.
Wanjala told police he sometimes opened their veins after strangling his victims, then drank their blood.
Police officials who were on duty said they realised Wanjala was missing at 7am as they were conducting roll call.
He could have escaped Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
A senior police officer who was checking on those being held there said he had noticed he was missing before raising the alarm.
The officers checking out after the overnight duties were held for questioning after stating they did not know how he escaped.
One officer said they suspect he slipped out as they separated those to be taken to court from those who remained in the cells.
Investigators said they were ready to charge Wanjala with five killings, while they investigated others.
Wanjala was yet to take formal pleas but investigators said they were ready to charge him before he escaped.
Police said they had so far linked him to as many as 14 murder murders in Nairobi, Machakos and Western Kenya. He had confessed to killing 12 children when he was arrested in July this year in Kajiado.
Following his escape from custody, senior police officers visited the station to understand what happened.
Nairobi police boss Augustine Nthumbi said they were still looking for him and appealed to the public to report sighting him.
“He remains a danger out there and we ask anyone who may see him to report to us,” Nthumbi said.
Wanjala told police he kidnapped and killed at least 12 children in four years in Nairobi, Machakos and Bungoma counties. So far, five bodies have been recovered.
Wanjala and his cousin were arrested over the killings. Wanjala said he lured his victims, promising to show them interesting things. He was known to a number of them.
Wanjala is accused of killing the children between 2019 and 2021. He has so far taken police to at least 10 murder scenes, including five in Nairobi, two in Kajiado, two in Machakos and one in Bungoma.
Wanjala was arrested in Kitengela, Kajiado county, in mid-July by DCI detectives after he sent a text message demanding ransom to the parents of a child he had abducted and killed. The bodies were dumped in Kabete area of Kiambu county.
Police were informed and captured him.
In September, detectives said they had concluded the re-enactment of four murder scenes where Wanjala led them to in Bungoma county.
Villagers were furious as they watched the team, including Wanjala, all dressed in identical white scene-of-crime suits.
Wanjala pointed out where he hid the body of a nine-year-old killed in February 2019.
No body was found but detectives collected samples of what could be remains and sent them for DNA identification.
Residents expressed shock after they saw Wanjala's photograph, realising they sometimes saw Wanjala spending time with their children.
A postmortem on three bodies of teenagers showed they were strangled and hit in the head with a blunt object.
The postmortem showed Brian Omondi and Junior Mutuku died of strangulation, while Charles Opindo died of a head injury.
An autopsy could not be performed on the fourth victim because it was a skeleton.
Omondi's parents could not identify him positively because of decomposition, so samples were taken for DNA tests.
Three were collected from Kabete area, Kiambu, while the fourth, the skeleton, was found in a manhole in Pumwani, Nairobi.
(Edited by V. Graham)