A body recently buried in Teso was on Friday exhumed after the man who had been presumed dead returned home. Longino Ochieng returned to his Amoni village home in Teso North last Wednesday, to the disbelief of relatives and neighbours who had ‘buried’ him on June 6.
“The boy disappeared on May 19,” his father Bisansio Ochieng told the Star. “We looked for him until June 1 when we received reports that his body was at the Bungoma District Hospital mortuary. We sent his uncle to verify the information and he confirmed the boy was dead.”
Bisansio said the family went to pick the body on June 5 but were shocked that the length of the body in the mortuary did not match the height of his son. They became suspicious and alerted the mortuary attendants, who he said became rude and threatened to bury the body in a cemetery in Bungoma town if the family did not collect it.
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Although some of the relatives insisted that the body was not Longino’s, Bisansio said he ordered the body transported home for burial. He said he did not want to exhume the body of his son at the cemetery in case it turned out later that it was his.
“On Wednesday, we received a call from a neighbour who lives in Eldoret that the boy had been seen in Turbo,” Bisansio said. “We were surprised because how can a dead person be seen alive somewhere?”
He said a relative was sent to confirm the information and went back with the boy. The family on Thursday with the assistance of police officers from Malaba police station went to the Bungoma law courts to obtain an exhumation order for the buried body, which was granted.
According to the Teso culture, Longino can only be allowed to return to his father’s home after the exhumation. He was housed at a church near his father’s home awaiting his official return home. Traditionally, a white ram will be slaughtered to cleanse bad omens.
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