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Shock as kidnappers kill boy after pocketing Sh150k ransom

Friends and relatives are struggling to come to terms with the cruel death of five-year-old Nathaniel Mwangi Ng’iru, who was strangled and his neck broken by kidnappers.

The nursery school pupil was playing with his friends outside his home in Obama Estate on Kangundo Road, Nairobi, on May 28 when a “man with a scar under his eye” got hold of him.

According to one of Nathaniel’s playmates, the man “had been watching them play a game of hide and seek for a while”.

HELD HOSTAGE

He later got hold of Nathaniel, held him hostage for nearly two weeks, before the boy’s body was found on the railway in Dandora.

According to the parents, Ms Jerusha Wairimu and Mr George Ng’iru, their son’s friends got concerned when he hid for too long during the game.

His older brother Nigel Ngugi went out to look for him in vain. It dawned on the family that he might have been abducted.

“We received several calls from his abductors asking for money. From the onset, it was clear that they would harm him as they kept saying we had to deposit the money or else make another ‘Mwangi’.”

To erase any doubts that they had the boy in captivity, the abductors put Nathaniel’s clothes in a black polythene bag and called the parents to go find it somewhere in the estate.

“It was then that we knew they had him and we had to find the money they were asking for, only that it was too much for us to raise Sh3 million. We managed Sh150,000, sent it to them with the promise that they would release him,” he said.

But it was not to be.

TEXT IN KIKUYU

The abductors sent the family a text in Kikuyu, telling them that the ransom they had sent was “very little, that can only buy goats”.

“We could not believe it. We were pleading with them to be considerate and not harm him, even saying we will be sending them money for his food. We asked to speak to him but they refused,” said Ms Wairimu.

The family suspects the abductor might have been known to their son and feared the boy would reveal his identity if he was released.

Said Mr Ngiru: “He was our second born and we loved his great personality. It was heartbreaking when we were called on June 11 at 7am that they had found his body. He was bleeding, had bruises and a rope on his neck and his legs bound. But, he was still warm.”

CRUEL DEATH

His uncle, John Njoroge, termed the incident a traumatising time for the family, given the cruel nature of his nephew’s death and the heartlessness exhibited by the abductors.

Still trying to understand the motive behind Nathaniel’s killing, the family has started making preparations to lay him to rest, with the hope that the police and the ongoing criminal investigation will bring the killers to book.

On Tuesday, a special mass was held at Mater Hospital — where his mother works — and there was no dry eye in the chapel, which was filled to the brim.

The priest, the Reverend James Wanjau, encouraged the family, telling them Nathaniel was now an angel who is watching over them.

“What kind of people take lives of such innocent children? What was going through their minds? We pray that God forgives them,” said the priest.

Shortly after, a post-mortem exam was conducted ahead of his funeral tomorrow at his grandparents home in Ngemwa village, Kiambu County.