Kenyan police announced Thursday that they are arresting a 20-year-old man who allegedly confessed to killing at least a dozen children in recent years.
Maston Milimo Vanzala, 20, was arrested Wednesday for the murder of two children who were found abandoned in a forest in Nairobi.
During his confession, police said the young man admitted to killing a dozen youths.
The arrest marks an important step in an investigation into the disappearance of children in Kenya – two days a week in recent weeks – according to police.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) described him as a “bloodthirsty vampire” on Twitter, saying “Vanzala murdered his victims most ruthlessly, sometimes sucking blood from their veins before killing them.”
The killings, which targeted 12- and 13-year-olds, were five years old. He said the victims were drugged and bloodless, some of whom were strangled, police said.
Vanzala’s arrest made headlines in Kenya’s leading newspapers on Thursday, which published photos of the suspect wearing a blue, blood-stained football jersey.
The judge on Thursday remanded him in custody for 30 days in order to allow more time for the police to continue their investigation.
Vanzala’s first victim was a 12-year-old girl who was abducted five years ago in Machagos County, east of Nairobi, police said.
The murder of his next victim sparked fierce protests in western Kenya, where residents set fire to the home of someone suspected of killing the boy.
“Before taking the lives of these innocent children, the killer told a detailed and horrific account of the horrific details of how he grabbed the victims,” DCI said on Twitter.
He said the remains of some children were “thrown into thorns”, others were “abandoned in the city sewer”, and the bodies of many children who were feared to be killed by Vanzala had not yet been found.
Cases of children being abducted on the way to school, some of them dead, have been on the rise in recent months, causing panic among families.
Police also said the killer had demanded 30,000 Kenyan shillings (about 235 euros) from the parents of a young man before he was killed.
Vanzala did not apologize for his actions, but instead told investigators he was “very happy” to have killed the victims.