Father killed and body set on fire by relatives

Residents mill around a pit latrine where police recovered murder weapons in Matunda, Gatanga, yesterday.[Boniface Gikandi, Standard]
A Good Friday spent registering family on Huduma Namba and drinking liquor later turned tragic for a Gatanga man after he was butchered and his body set on fire by his spouse.

By last evening, the man’s wife and her three daughters were placed in police custody, accused of killing John Maina, setting his body on fire and then attempting to bury him.

The victim’s brother stumbled on the gruesome scene as the woman, 47, whose identity police have withheld, and her three teenage children were burning blood soaked items and digging a grave to inter the charred body of Maina.

The incident took place at Good Samaritan Trading Centre in Gatanga Constituency on Saturday morning.

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Police officers and witnesses told Sunday Standard that Maina, an employee of Delmonte Kenya Limited, was hacked to death using an axe and a panga after a dispute with his wife.

Pulling gunny bag

The deceased lived in a three roomed timber house with his wife and four children, the youngest just two-years-old.

The daughters, aged 17, 16 and 14 were arrested alongside their mother as accomplices.

The woman’s youngest child who was at home at the time of the incident, was left under the care of a relative after the four were arrested but she was later taken to her mother.

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James Ndirangu, the victim’s brother said he was alarmed by smoke billowing from Maina’s home at 6am and upon inquiring, he was told that they were getting rid of old clothes.

Five minutes later, he said, the flame became fierce and there was smell of burning flesh.

“When I returned to express my concern, I found my sister-in-law assisted by her daughters pulling a gunny bag stuffed with what looked like a human body towards a shallow grave,” Mr Ndirangu said.

He raised an alarm attracting neighbours who were restrained by Nyumba Kumi elders from beating the woman after she confessed to have killed her husband.

Maina’s partially burnt body with deep stab wounds was in a sack.

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Inside the house, blood was splattered on the walls and floor.

A mattress torn into pieces was used to dab the blood from the floor.

All blood-stained clothes and mattress were burnt alongside the body, in an effort to conceal the crime.

A neighbour who sought anonymity said the couple had separated for two years but they reconciled.

The woman got married in Oldonyo Sabuk in Kiambu County and had a son but ended the new union to be with Maina.

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“She returned after learning that her husband remarried,” the neighbour said.

The body was moved to Thika mortuary. Murang’a County Police Commander Josphat Kinyua said the family will help in the investigations.

Police recovered the murder weapons, an axe and a panga from a pit latrine.

“We have the victim’s wife and her daughters in our custody. If investigations will implicate them, they will face a murder charge,” Kinyua said.

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