Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on 15 November 2019, dramatically arrested senior army officer Peter Mugure.

Mugure who is based at the Nanyuki barracks was arrested over the disappearance of his estranged lover, Joyce Syombua, 31, and their two children Shanice (10) and Prince Michael (5) disappeared three weeks ago after they went to visit him in Nanyuki.

Laikipia East Criminal Investigations Officer Jacob Muriithi confirmed the arrest, adding that investigations are underway and the suspect will be taken to court on Monday.

Joyce Syombua
Joyce Syombua

 “We will take him to court on Monday and seek more time to detain him for further interrogations and investigations,” said Muriithi.

Reports indicate that the relationship between the two had been on and off.

Syombua left Kayole on 25 October 2019 to visit Mugure after he requested to spend time with his children during the holidays.

Series of text messages

She arrived safely and was in constant communication with her childhood friend, Syombua Kateng’u before disappearing on 26 October 2019.

Katengu narrated that on the fateful day, Syombua texted her at around 8am, informing her that Mugure had left with the children while she was in the bathroom.

“In the text message she told me that when she came from the bathroom, she did not find Peter and the children. She also told me when she called him, he said he was taking them on a tour of the facility and would be back,” recounted Kateng’u.

He would return later without the children and inform Syombua that they had been left at a friend’s house.

“When she asked him the whereabouts of the children, he said he had left them at a friend’s house because they needed privacy to iron out their differences,” recounted Kateng’u.

Joyce Syombua, 31,  Shanice (10) and Prince Michael (5)
Joyce Syombua, 31, Shanice (10) and Prince Michael (5)

The last update she received from her friend was at 7 PM when she informed er that Mugure had stepped out.

Last contact

Shortly afterwards, Syombua’s phone went off. It is at this point that Kateng’a contacted the suspect who told her that he had he had escorted Syombua and her children to board a matatu back to Nairobi that night.

The three did not arrive back to their house in Kayole, prompting the family to report the case of missing relatives at Soweto Police Station.