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Police probe 3 children’s mystery death in Enugu

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By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu

There is disquiet in Itchi Community of Igbo-Eze South local government area of Enugu state

following the mysterious death of three children, in an incident suspected to be ritual killing.

Orient Weekend reports that the victims were found dead inside a car parked in the house of a retired police officer in the area.

The victims, Chukwuebuka Eze (male, aged 5), Chinyere Eze (female, aged 4) and Chibugoh Eze (female, aged 4), had travelled from a neighbouring community in the area to Itchi in search of potable water.

The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ike Oke, who confirmed the development, described the news as mysterious.

The monarch, who is also the chairman of Igbo-Eze South Traditional Rulers Council, said he had, upon the disappearance of the children, mobilised personnel of vigilante and Forest Guard groups who joined in the search of the victims.

He also said, “We were almost frustrated in our search when a community member who went to fetch water heard the voice of a little child calling her name. She traced the voice to a car that had been parked for over six months in the compound where she discovered the children and raised the alarm.

“We found three of the children already dead by the time we opened the car. I think they suffocated to death because the car doors were stiff when we tried to open it at first but we engaged an artisan who forced it open.

“One of the two children rescued said they went to fetch water but didn’t meet anyone at the borehole because the owner and the entire members of the family had gone to church service. He informed us that they were about going home when three hooded men came from a hill beside the scene of the incident and abducted them into the car and left. He said they were all dressed in red clothes. He also said that the hoodlums returned at the middle of the night to take them away but they couldn’t open the car doors because they were stiff.

“We are still investigating the incident and the dead victims have been deposited in the mortuary. The owner of the house has been arrested by police.”

The police in Enugu state, while confirming the incident, said a discreet investigation had commenced. It spoke through a statement issued by the police public relations officer, PPRO, Daniel Ndukwe.

Providing further details, Ndukwe said “on November 23, 2020 at 9:40am the command received a report made at Igbo-Eze South Divisional Headquarters that three (3) children were found dead in a parked Toyota Camry Car in Itchi Community of Igbo-Eze South local government area. On receipt of the report, operatives of the division dashed to the scene and found two (2) of the children still alive, while three others were lifeless.”

According to him, “the surviving children were immediately taken to the hospital for medical attention, while the lifeless ones have been deposited in the mortuary for medical autopsy.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the children, belonging to different parents, included one Chukwuebuka Ele (male, aged 5), Chinyere Eze (female, aged 4) and Chibugoh Eze (female, aged 4) all found lifeless, as well as Kingsley Eze (male, aged 3) Nmasichukwu Eze (female, aged 12) both found alive.

The investigation, he added, further revealed that the children had left their homes in Nkalagu-Okpuku community of the same local government Area to fetch water from a borehole in Itchi, a neighbouring community, on November 22 and were not seen till the following morning when they were found locked up in the said vehicle.

He said the police in the state had initiated investigation of the incident saying “one suspect has been arrested in connection with the case.”

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