Teenager wrote a suicide note then hanged himself inside a church

Jecinter Wanjiku Denis's grandmother holding a portrait of Denis Ngugi, 18, at their home in Kiambogo, Nakuru County on June 10, 2019. [Harun Wathari/Standard]

A teenager committed suicide in a church at Kiambogo village in Gilgil, Nakuru County on Sunday.

Dennis Ngugi, 18, hanged himself inside Mothaiti Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). It was not immediately clear why he took his life.

However, relatives claimed he had been threatening to commit suicide.

His body was found dangling from a rope tied to the roof of the pulpit by the faithful who had arrived for prayers before the Sunday service.

“We were shocked to find a body dangling at the pulpit,” said Beatrice Wanjiku, a member of the church.

Ms Wanjiku said on the fateful day the church had planned to baptize several members, including Ngugi, who had successfully undergone baptismal classes.

Members were unable to conduct prayers in the church, which was treated as a scene of the crime.

Went missing

Family members said the form two student at Mothaiti Mixed Secondary School went missing on Saturday.

His grandmother Jacinta Wanjiku, (pictured), said Ngugi left home at around 4 pm. He never returned. She said he told them he was going to church, but she did not imagine he was going to kill himself.

In the morning she went looking for Ngugi to milk cows as they prepared to go to church, where the family was to witness him get baptised, but he was nowhere to be seen.

Wanjiku said they heard screams from the church, about one kilometre from her home. “They said they had found a body dangling from the roof of the church, but we did not imagine it would be Ngugi’s,” she said.

She added: “As we continued with the search, some members of the church arrived and broke the news of my grandson’s death. The news is very shocking. I am yet to come to terms with his death,” she said.

Ngugi’s aunt Martha Muthoni said he saw him write what would turn out to be a suicide note.

“I saw him draft something on a piece of paper, but I was not keen on it because I thought it was something to do with is academics,” said Ms Muthoni.

“After writing the note, he tore the paper from the exercise book and placed it on the cupboard in the sitting room before leaving. I did not know what he was planning until the incident was reported.”

Muthoni said she saw the suicide note titled “My will” the following day as they were looking for Ngugi. In the note, Ngugi indicated that he had decided to commit suicide.

In the suicide note, Ngugi said he owned a mobile phone, quarter an acre of land and three chicken, which he wanted to be inherited by his uncle.

Muthoni said Ngugi never told anyone that he had any problem. “He never talked to people about anything that may have been bothering him. However, he had vowed to commit suicide one day.”

“We tried to talk to him when he started to say he would take his life but he never said what was ailing him. Sometimes he would jokingly talk of taking his life, and that is how most of us took it; just a joke. That is why we are shocked that he actually committed suicide,” she said.

Ngugi’s uncle James Mburu said: “It is unfortunate he never told us why he was planning to commit suicide. We tried to talk to him in vain.”

Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru said they had started an investigation into the incident.