A mentally challenged man who had been reported missing in Gatituni village in Chuka, Tharaka-Nithi County was found in a well after 13 days.

42-year-old Royford Mugambi was with his elderly mother who lives with him when he disappeared on the morning of May 22, 2020. His elder brother, Mr Henry Gitonga, said they had been searching for him since his disappearance, even going to the Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary.

Speaking to journalists at their home on Thursday morning, Gitonga said they reported his brother’s disappearance at Chuka Police Station and were almost losing hope of tracing him when he was discovered in the well Wednesday evening.

He said a neighbour, Mr John Mwenda, was working on a farm near the well when he heard someone calling and thought it was his father who was also working on the farm.

When he confirmed it wasn’t his father, Mwenda continued to work and heard the voice again. This time, the person called him by his name and when he trailed the voice, he noticed that the person was calling from the well and the soft voice sounded familiar.

When he called out, Mugambi responded and asked for some water.

“After confirming that it was Mugambi who had disappeared for some days, Mwenda rushed and informed his father before proceeding to our home and broke the shocking news,” said Gitonga.

Mugambi’s family looked for a ladder, tied it with a rope and dropped it to the well. The brother said they struggled to pull him out because he was weak, making it difficult for him to hold onto the ladder.

“His body was pale, completely emaciated and he was totally confused when he came out,” Gitonga said.

A doctor from Chuka County Referral Hospital advised them to give him a glucose solution and some milk for a few days before introducing him to porridge and later soft food.

Villagers termed the incident as a miracle, saying they would hold a thanksgiving ceremony later