The Kenyan police announced Thursday the arrest of a 20-year-old man presented as a “vampire”, who admitted the murders of at least a dozen children in recent years.
Masten Milimo Wanjala, 20, was arrested Wednesday for the murder of two children whose bodies were found abandoned in a wooded area of Nairobi.
During his confession, the young man admitted to the murders of a dozen other teenagers, police said.
The arrest represents a major breakthrough in an investigation into a spate of disturbing child disappearances in Kenya – about two a day in recent weeks – police said.
“Wanjala single-handedly slaughtered his victims in the most ruthless manner, sometimes sucking the blood from their veins before murdering them,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said on Twitter, describing him as a “bloodthirsty vampire.”
The murders, which targeted 12- and 13-year-olds, date back five years. His victims were drugged and bled to death, some of them strangled, police said.
Wanjala’s arrest made headlines in Kenya’s major newspapers on Thursday, which published photos of the suspect wearing a blue, blood-stained soccer jersey. The court on Thursday ordered him to be held in custody for 30 days to give police more time to investigate.
According to police, Wanjala’s first victim was a 12-year-old girl who was abducted five years ago in Machakos County, east of Nairobi. The murder of his next victim sparked a massive protest in western Kenya, where residents burned down the house of a person they suspected of killing the boy.
Cases of abduction of children on their way to school, some of whom have been found dead, have multiplied in recent months, spreading panic among families. Wanjala did not apologize for his actions, telling investigators that he took “great pleasure” in killing his victims.