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Johannesburg – The decomposing body of the nine-year-old daughter of a Kenyan magistrate has been recovered bearing signs of torture after she was kidnapped and a ransom demanded for her release.

The body of the girl, the daughter of Githongo Law Courts Senior Resident Magistrate Carol Kemei, was found over the weekend near Meru in eastern Kenya with cuts on her thighs and an arm burned by acid, the Daily Nation reported on Tuesday.

The child went missing on September 6 after she had been dropped by her school bus. Shortly afterwards, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of Sh500 000 (over R74 000) but never followed up on their demand.

The revelations came as leaders and lawyers led by Chief Justice David Maraga sent condolence messages to Kemei.

The class four pupil’s body was discovered, still dressed in her school uniform, by locals visiting a giant Meru Oak, a popular tourist attraction in Imenti forest, about three kilometres from Meru town.

Preliminary police reports state that the girl was picked up by a man known to her near Total Petrol Station along the Meru town-Makutano road.

The man called to her and she rushed to him shouting "habari uncle". There was no commotion, hence her colleagues and those in nearby shops would not have suspected anything sinister.

Family members are being questioned by detectives as they try to solve the crime.

African News Agency/ANA