Autopsy reveals what killed teacher whose body was found in coffin inside his house
The 44-year-old computer teacher at Muhoya Secondary School reportedly went missing on December 22, 2022.
- On the fateful day, Muhoya Assistant Chief Martha Wanjiru says the teacher had just supervised the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Educations examinations.
The teacher whose body was found inside a coffin in his rental house in Ihururu village in Nyeri County died from suffocation, a post-mortem has revealed.
The autopsy conducted on the body of Joseph Gathogo, 44, on Wednesday, January 18 at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital mortuary showed that he died due to insufficient oxygen.
“Our investigations which have so far corresponded with the post-mortem indicate that he nailed himself inside the coffin and sealed any air from coming in or out,” Tetu sub-County Police Commander Philip Mwania says.
And contrary to police belief that Gathogo might have ingested poison, the autopsy ascertained that he did not ingest any poison. There was no bodily injuries.
The autopsy results corresponds with investigators' suspicions that the teacher locked himself in the said coffin before nailing its lid.
Police found a torch, a bottle of what they suspect is poison, and a five-litre container of suspected local brew ‘Muratina’ inside the coffin together with the body. Other items found include a cow horn and scrolls written in foreign language.
The teacher, police officers say, could have used a stool to access the boat-like coffin, lifted the coffin lid, entered inside before slowly closing the lid. After covering himself inside, police suspect he went on to nail the lid using the hammer.
In the bizarre incident that shocked residents, flowers and items that resemble witchcraft paraphernalia, including a black polyethene and a weird flag - with an image of a beetle - were found on coffin.
Gathongo was a computer teacher at Muhoya Secondary School. He reportedly went missing on December 22, 2022.
On the fateful day, Muhoya Assistant Chief Martha Wanjiru says the teacher had just supervised the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Educations examinations.
But after going home from work, he was never seen again. His neighbours did not realise something was amiss until on January 7, 2022 when his family came looking for him.
Although the teacher had lived in the rental house for 14 years, the caretaker did not sense mischief since he used to stay indoors and did not talk much with people.
After some days, the caretaker realised that a foul smell was coming from the teacher's house and informed the police.
Upon breaking into the house, police found the naked body of the teacher inside the coffin in his sitting room.
The body has been removed to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem.
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