Over 100 people linked to a doomsday cult were found dead in shallow graves in the Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County, Kenya, last month. On Monday, investigators completed the first 10 autopsies on nine children and one female adult from the discovered bodies as reported by the Times Live.
Chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor said that the autopsies showed features of starvation and that most of them had not eaten, adding that two showed signs of asphyxiation. The dead were reportedly followers of the Good News International Church led by Pastor Paul Mackenzie.
Authorities accused Mackenzie of instructing worshippers to starve themselves to death so that they would be the first to go to heaven before the end of the world. Mackenzie has been in police custody since April 14, along with 14 other suspected cult members.
The deaths constitute one of the worst cult-related tragedies in recent history, and the Kenyan Red Cross reported that more than 300 people have been reported missing. The government is collecting DNA samples from people who reported missing relatives to match the discovered bodies. On Sunday, President William Ruto announced that he would appoint a judicial commission of inquiry this week to investigate what happened in Shakahola.
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