Detectives on Friday exhumed 29 more bodies from the 800-acre Shakahola forest where followers of pastor Paul Mackenzie are believed to have been buried.
The bodies were exhumed from 12 graves within the Shakahola Forest. Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha confirmed that so far the death toll has reached 179.
The regional commissioner of Kenya’s Coastal region, John Elungata Onyancha, reported that 609 people are missing in connection with the case of Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who has been accused of brainwashing his followers to starve themselves to death in the belief that they will meet Jesus.
The operation to rescue the followers is still ongoing, and exhumation will continue to ensure that all bodies buried in the forest are recovered. The court remanded Pastor Mackenzie and his wife Rhoda Maweu, along with 16 other suspects, in custody for 30 more days as investigations continue.
The magistrate denied them bond due to ongoing investigations and the potential risk to their safety and security if released at this stage.