Jilted man kills wife and three children in cold blood in Roysambu – PHOTOS
When Ann Gathoni, a mother of four in Marurui village in Roysambu returned home from work at 11pm on Sunday, all she wanted was a good rest.
There was no indication to Gathoni, 33, that this would be the last night for her and her three children, two daughters and a son, aged between five and 13. Their bodies were found in the one-room house by neighbours on Monday morning.
They had been poisoned and strangled. And there were signs that the eldest daughter had been defiled.
The prime suspect is Gathoni’s estranged husband, Mr Maina Karanu, who is said to have visited in the dead of the night, which, according to neighbours, was not unusual. The couple had separated, but Maina would visit occasionally .
The suspect walked away after the heinous act, and since it was raining heavily, no one knew what had happened until morning.
What was until Sunday evening a quiet village on Monday became a high-security zone as detectives from Kasarani Police Station combed the area and interrogated neighbours for possible leads.
The horrific killings were discovered at 8am on Monday by a neighbour.
“I was alarmed when I realised that the children had not gone to school, which was unusual. I called out but no one answered. I entered the house and found the bodies, two of which had foam in the mouth. I then raised the alarm,” their immediate neighbour, Ms Mary Nyawira, told the Nation.
Only the family’s youngest son, Leon,3, was spared. The child, Nyawira said, lay next to his mother’s body, oblivious of the tragedy that had befallen his family, and which would change his life forever.
Neighbours say that Leon is Gathoni’s only child with Karanu. The other three were from an earlier marriage.
Gathoni’s neck bore marks of strangulation. Dimitri Kibe,5, and his sister, Peris Mumbi,8, were sprawled on their bed.
The body of the family’s first-born daughter, Mary Wairimu, 13, was found beside her bed, with her hands tied behind her with a nylon cord. Wairimu was a candidate at a nearby school.
Gathoni’s family and neighbours described her as a gentle woman who raised her children dutifully after separating from her first husband. Few of them knew Karanu, who is said to live in the neighbouring Jua Kali slum.
“They (Gathoni and Maina) have not been living together. They separated after many violent incidents. Maina would visit after many months, sleep over and leave the following morning,” Nancy Wangari, the deceased’s sister who lives in the same block, told the Nation.
A distraught Wangari revealed that Karanu assaulted Gathoni whenever he visited.
“We (the family) intervened on many occasions. We even asked her to leave him, but they would get in touch behind our back after some time,” she added.
Neighbours who visited the scene said the one-room house was in a mess, with power supply disconnected. Karanu is suspected to have executed the blood-curdling murders under the cover of darkness.
When the Nation visited, the children’s clothes hanging on the line outside and jerricans of water were the only signs of the vibrant lives that had been brutally cut short.
Neighbours who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Nation that the village was notorious for drug abuse and runaway alcoholism,.
As the police continue with their investigations, a cloud of gloom hangs over the village as residents struggled to come to terms with the killings.
The bodies are lying at Neema Hospital Mortuary in Kasarani. The suspected killer still remains at large.