(Malindi) Twenty-six new bodies were exhumed on Sunday in eastern Kenya, bringing to 47 the number of remains discovered since Friday by police in the investigation into the deaths of followers of a sect whose leader is said to have said to fast to “meet Jesus,” police told AFP.

“Today we have exhumed 26 bodies, bringing the total number to 47,” Charles Kamau, head of criminal investigations for Malindi sub-county (east), told AFP, adding that the search is continuing. to find more bodies.

Men dressed in white coveralls and masks continue to dig the ocher earth in search of other bodies, noted an AFP journalist. Several bodies were wrapped in blue tarpaulins.

The remains of four followers of the International Church of Good News (Good News International Church) led by Makenzie Nthenge had already been found last week by the authorities.

Investigators searched the area due to reports of a possible mass grave.

Several followers of the International Church of Good News are still hiding in the forest of Shakahola.

A faithful was found on Sunday by the authorities. The woman, eyes bulging, refused to eat, before being taken to an ambulance.

Eleven other worshippers, seven men and four women aged between 17 and 49, were hospitalized last week after being rescued from the forest.

The leader of the sect, Makenzie Nthenge, surrendered to the police on April 15, before being taken into custody.

According to local media, six devotees of Makenzie Nthenge were also arrested.

The case is due to go to court on May 2.

In a report seen by AFP, police said they had received reports of people “starving to death under the guise of meeting Jesus after being brainwashed by a suspect, Makenzie Nthenge, pastor of the Good News Church International”.

According to local media, Makenzie Nthenge was arrested and charged last month after two children died of starvation in the care of their parents. He was later released on bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings (about 670 euros).