The body of a teacher who reportedly went missing on December 22, 2022, was found buried in a concrete coffin inside his home in Ihururu village, Nyeri County, Kenya.
The lifeless body of 45-year-old Joseph Gathogo, a teacher at Muhoya Secondary School, was retrieved by police from the rental house at Ihururu Shopping Centre on Thursday, January 12, 2023.
The teacher is believed to have placed himself inside a coffin he reportedly made after which he ingested an identified poison.
A bouquet of flowers, a black flag and scrolls written in weird writings, and a cow horn had been placed near the boat-like structure.
Njama reported the case of his missing tenant to the Ihururu police post when they still could not trace him.
As days went on he became suspicious of the tenant’s house after fellow tenants spoke about a foul smell coming out of Gathogo’s house and immediately reported the matter to the police.
“The police came and after breaking into the house they found a concrete coffin with the deceased decomposing body. There was also an assortment of chemicals.
Hundreds of curious residents milled the area to catch glimpse of the home-made coffin. The smell of the unknown poison which he had swallowed was evident.
“The coffin was made of concrete but covered with plywood, there was a black flag with mysterious drawings and unreadable writings. I have never witnessed such a thing in my life, it’s very shocking,” Njama said.
Villagers described Gathogo as very reserved, with no friends visiting his home, but dedicated to his work..
“He loved politics and was a peaceful person in the 19 years he has been my tenant I have never seen any visitors or friends to his house. He used to meet his colleagues at Ihururu shopping center,” he said.
The landlord noted that Gathogo did not go to church and had no girlfriends that he knew of and mostly kept to himself.
Njama recalled it was not the first time that he had gone missing.
“There was a time he went missing for two weeks during Covid-19 pandemic and switched off his phone. The school reported him missing but Gathogo was found in the house unharmed,” he said.
Mr Zachary Muthiri, a colleague and friend, said he was a jovial person and a hardworking teacher’s assistant never quick to anger, and loved politics.
“At one point he was the patron of Catholic Action, a catholic movement at Muhoya Secondary School but he later dropped his duty,” Muthiri said.