Police are investigating claims a 32-year-old woman killed her husband, their two children and committed suicide at their Thome estate home in Nairobi.
The police said they want to find out if there was any other party that could be involved in the murders.
The home was deserted when The Standard visited yesterday.
A neighbour who sought anonymity and owns a shop in the area, said the woman was her friend as she always bought from her outlet, but never shared with her or anyone about her marital issues.
They only came to realise after the deaths that the man, aged 37, had several times reported being assaulted by the wife, who was a food vendor in the area, but the domestic disputes seemed not to end.
“We only came to know later that the man was being assaulted by the wife and each time he went to the police post to report, he found his wife already made a report accusing him (husband) of one thing or the other,” said the neighbour.
The bodies of the four were discovered on Tuesday afternoon after customers who used to buy food from the woman at a construction site raised queries over her whereabouts.
It was then that the local Nyumba Kumi chairman was alerted, and upon going to the couple’s house, he found the entire family of four dead.
The neighbour said when she and other witnesses got into the house, one could clearly guess that there was a tussle because everything was scattered, including clothes.
The body of the woman was hanging from the roof of the house. It was alleged that the woman must have strangled their two children aged 14 and three before hanging herself with a rope in the house.
It is also believed that the man, a casual labourer at a neighbouring school, was attacked with an axe while asleep. His was found lying dead on the bed, witnesses and police said.
“There was a deep cut on the back of his neck and stab wounds on the side of his stomach. Crocheted seat covers were seen tied around the children’s faces, on their noses and mouths seemingly to suffocate them,” said the neighbour.
“What shocked me the most was that this woman was my friend, she often bought from me but I have never heard her complain about her husband. The husband is always busy, leaves in the morning and comes back late,” she said.
It is not clear if the woman was behind the incident. Police said they had been informed the couple was embroiled in recurrent domestic disputes.
Kasarani police boss Peter Kimani said they want to establish if there was any other party that was involved in the murder, adding that the man had told the local chief of his predicaments.
Meanwhile, a former ward representative shot a woman dead before turning the gun on himself on Wednesday in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.
Kajiado North police boss John Mwika said Richard Muchesia is suspected to have killed the woman, identified as Lorraine Nanjira, at around 4.30am using his licensed gun.
Mwika said police could not confirm whether the two were a couple.
“The woman was operating a chemist but whether she was his wife is what we cannot confirm at the moment,” said Mwika.
When The Standard visited the home of the two victims, relatives locked themselves in their houses and refused to speak to the media.
[Additional reporting by Michael Chepkwony]