Police arrest woman who threatened to kill child to get married
Police have arrested a woman who posted images with a child on Facebook recently with a statement that she was ready to kill the baby if no man would marry her with the kid.
Ms Jackline Jepngetich, a house help, is being probed on why she decided to depict her former employers’ one-year-old child as her own and why she contemplated the girl’s death in her September 24 post.
“Who is going to marry me with this baby haki (I swear) or I kill her right away ndio niolewe (so I can get married),” she stated in the post, capturing her mood as “thinking about doing something crazy”.
The post drew a lot of reactions on social media and a popular FM station used it on its September 26 morning show to discuss whether it is becoming too difficult for single mothers to get married.
Police then tracked Ms Jepngetich’s phone to Nandi Hills.
Speaking with her former boss on Friday after being ferried from Nandi Hills to the Buruburu police station, she said a man called her under the guise of giving her a job, an offer she accepted.
She set out to meet the person, only to find herself at a government administrator’s office and kaput, she was under arrest. Police plan to present her before court on Monday.
“She is in custody and will be charged with offences under Kenya Information and Communication Act chapter 411,” Buruburu police boss Geoffrey Mayek told the Sunday Nation.
The minor’s mother Mercy Murungi said she had fired Ms Jepngetich after completing just one day as her house help.
The reason why she dismissed her so soon, she explained, was because of the latter’s unbecoming conduct like spending too much time on her phone, taking lots of photos and not being ready to attend to the very child she was supposed to take care of.
Ms Murugi, a businesswoman, had hired Ms Jepngetich as a house help on September 20 from a bureau in Umoja I and on September 22, she let her go because “my heart couldn’t let me stay with her”.
She thought the matter was over until October 3 when she received a call from the police informing her that they had arrested a woman who was planning to kill her daughter.
By then, she had not seen the Facebook post in which her third born daughter, was being depicted as someone else’s daughter and a burden at that. Her initial reaction was to ignore the caller’s message.
“I was shocked because it was strange that someone could know me that well and I didn’t know him. I thought they were conmen and didn’t follow up,” said Ms Murugi.
But the Nandi Hills police persisted in their requests, making her file a report at the Buruburu police station.
Officers at Buruburu later confirmed that it was actually a police detective who had been contacting Ms Murugi, and that is when plans were made to transport her to the station “where the initial report was made” according to Mr Mayek.
“I asked her why she had put my child on Facebook. She said she was just joking. I asked her, ‘You joke with a child you are not related to? We are not relatives.’ We were there the whole day and she refused to explain why she did it. Police decided that she be locked in today as they find a way forward,” Ms Murugi told the Sunday Nation yesterday.
Ms Murugi said she was willing to forgive her former house help because pressing charges “will take a lot of my time and make me unable to do my work”.
“My wish was that she goes back to Facebook and write that the child is not hers and I’ll leave her alone. God can protect my child,” she said.
By Saturday, the post referring to killing of the child had been pulled down. However, there were still three photos where Ms Jepngetich was referring to the child as her own.
“Its good that the is with her father I wish you bright future with your mother in law plz have respect. I love you much but your dad loves you very much (sic),” says a September 27 post that had a photo of hers and the baby.
Ms Murugi’s sister, Jane Mburia, is still puzzled why Ms Jepngetich chose the minor as her target.
It is at Ms Mburia’s house, a few metres away from her sister’s, that the suspect took the photos she uploaded on Facebook.
“I was asking her, ‘When you were taking those photos, in that house you were not alone with the child. My house help was there. Why didn’t you take three of you?” Ms Mburia questioned.