Total fatalities have surpassed 200, with investigators expecting more bodies to be recovered.
Kenyan police discovered 15 additional bodies on Wednesday, bringing the death toll from the ‘Shakahola Forest Massacre’ near the coastal town of Malindi to 226.
Last week, investigators reported organ harvesting in some of the first 112 bodies to be found. Most of the victims are said to have died of starvation after allegedly following the instructions of Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who is facing terrorism charges.
Mackenzie, the founder of the Good News International Church, is being held by police for allegedly inciting his followers to engage in ritual fasting in order to “meet Jesus.”
Faith Ambole, a local resident who spoke with RT, said she has been trying to locate five relatives who were members of the religious sect but has been unsuccessful. “I’m calling on the government to intervene and help us, we have no means, we are poor,” Ambole said.
Over the weekend, Kenyan President William Ruto accepted responsibility for not doing more to prevent radicalization, and apologized for the government’s “laxity” in the case.