Kenya: Nyeri Village in Shock as Three Murdered, Suspect Hangs Himself

Kiamwathi village in Nyeri County is reeling in shock and grief following the killing of three people and the suicide of another one at night.

One more person was injured while the man suspected to be behind one of the murders hanged himself.

Three people were murdered while one hanged himself in the two separate incidents reported in two homes barely 300 metres apart.

The first incident was reported at around 10pm Tuesday in which an 82-year-old man was slashed to death in a machete fight with his nephew over money given to the elderly by the government.

CASH FOR ELDERLY

Police say that Mr Elijah Mugo was hacked to death by his nephew identified as Dancun Macharia, 41, as they fought over the unknown amount of money.

The old man is reported to have accused his nephew of stealing from him money he had received through the old persons' cash transfer programme.

Nyeri Central Sub-County Police Commander Paul Kuria said that the octogenarian confronted his nephew over the alleged theft, leading to a deadly machete fight.

"He picked up a machete from and decided to confront his nephew at his home. The suspect on the other hand opted to defend himself using a machete, leading to a fight between the two. He [overpowered] the old man and slashed him to death," Mr Kuria said.

The bloody encounter left the elderly man dead, lying in a pool of blood as the injured assailant ran into hiding in his farm.

ARRESTED

Police responded and arrested Mr Macharia who was rushed to Nyeri County Referral Hospital for treatment before being placed in custody.

"The suspect suffered cuts on the head but is currently in stable condition and in our custody waiting to be arraigned," the police boss said.

Barely 300 metres away from the home, a farmhand is believed to have slashed to death two women before hanging himself in his employer's residence.

Rev Samuel Waithaka stumbled on the badly mutilated body of the unidentified woman inside his farmhand's kitchen on Wednesday at dawn.

The farmhand's body would later be found hanging from an avocado tree near his house.

SUSPECT DEAD

Crime scene investigators stumbled on the body of the 36-year-old farmworker as they were documenting the earlier reported murder.

"We received a report of a murder in the morning. As we were investigating, officers discovered the body of the suspect hanging near the house. At this point it is hard to tell what the motive was," police boss Kuria said.

Police are still working to unravel the identity of the woman believed to be in her thirties and the motive behind the homicide-suicide with locals saying they had never seen her in the area before.

Barely three hours later, detectives would revisit the same homestead after another body of a woman was found dumped in a coffee plantation. A six-month old baby was found lying next to the mother's lifeless body and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

The woman, whose throat was slit, is believed to have been murdered Tuesday night by the farmhand, moments after he killed the first victim. Shocked residents said they had never seen her in the area before.

Police are still working to unravel the identities of the two women and the motive behind the killings and the suicide.

Detectives are investigating the possibility of a love triangle gone wrong. But there there is still suspicion that the second victim was collateral damage after witnessing the first murder.

Rev Waithaka told the Nation that the farmhand identified as Eric Muriithi had been working for him for slightly over a year now and lived alone throughout that period.

"Since he started working for me last year I have never seen him with a woman in this compound. Nobody saw her coming in last night and since his radio was on we did not hear any commotion," he said.

Preliminary findings show that the first woman was slashed with a machete as she had deep cuts on the head and back, an indication that it could have been a sneak attack.

The bodies were moved to the Nyeri County Referral Hospital mortuary pending further investigations.

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