Kenya: Last Moments of Nakuru Doctor and His Slain Children

(file photo).
19 September 2021

Five hours before police found Dr James Gakara unconscious and lifeless bodies of his two children inside their apartment on Saturday evening, the medic had left just returned to the house at Milimani Estate in Nakuru town.

In the morning, neighbours told the Nation on Sunday, he had left with his five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter to an unknown place in the company of their nanny.

The obstetrician-gynecologist came back to their apartment at 3pm but without the maid only for the minors to be found dead after police broke into their house at 9pm.

The officers were acting on a report by one of the neighbours who reported unusual activity in Dr Gakara's house, followed by loud silence.

"We were shocked that he decided to escort the house-help yet the mother of the children was not around to take care of them," said a neighbour who requested anonymity.

Upon arrival, the witness said, the medical specialist who owns Optimum Current Health Care Clinic in Section 58 Estate immediately locked the door behind him and no one knows what happened thereafter.

His wife, a nurse at the same clinic, had travelled to Nairobi, leaving her family in the hands of the man she called her husband and the father of her children.

Drugs, sharpened knife

Upon breaking into the house, police attempted to save the lives of the man and his children by rushing them to hospital but it was a little too late for the minors, doctors told the officers upon arrival.

Dr Gakara, who is under heavy police guard, spent the better part of Sunday battling for his life in the Intensive Care Unit at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

Police believe he may know what transpired behind the locked door after used syringes and an assortment of drugs were found in the room where the minor's bodies were found.

"The children's bodies were found lying on the floor in their room while he was found unconscious by his brother-in-law who had been sent by his wife to check what was wrong after he (Dr Gakara) switched off his phone," said a police source.

Nakuru County Police Commander Beatrice Kiraguri said they suspected that the children were injected with the drugs that were recovered at the scene.

"In the girl's bedroom, there was a sharpened knife indicating that if they didn't die from the drugs he could have killed them using the knife," said Kiraguri.

Nakuru West criminal investigations chief Stephen Ambani said the bodies of the two children had no physical injuries.

He said samples of the drugs would be taken to the Government Chemist for analysis to determine if they were used to kill the children.

"We have engaged the pathologist for the purpose of identifying the cause of death. We are waiting for the report," said Ambani. "We are treating this matter with uttermost care so that the family, especially the mother of the children, can be able to come into terms with the death of her two children."

Alleged squabbling

Dr Titus Ngulungu conducted a postmortem examination on the bodies at the Nakuru County mortuary but did not disclose the cause of the death immediately.

A neighbour who sought anonymity told the Nation that Dr Gakara and his wife had been quarrelling in recent days after the nurse disclosed her plans to go for further studies abroad.

It was not known where she was planning to go for further studies, with neighbours telling the Nation that the family rarely interacted with them.

Close relatives and the doctor's colleagues reached by the Nation were tight-lipped on the alleged matrimonial feud.

"We suspect his wife's decision to go abroad might be the reason behind all this," said another neighbour.

"His phone was off when the wife tried reaching him, prompting her to call his brother and asked him to go and check what might be the problem. Only to find the house locked from inside," he added.

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