Retired, lonely and shunned by her immediate family, the Thika granny whose remains were discovered months after she died had sank into a pit of depression.
Sources close to the family of the late Leah Njeri Gachanja say her life took a turn for the worse when her husband, the late Isaac Githuku Gachanja dumped her for a new catch.
When Rose Wambui was brought to her matrimonial home in Bendor Estate, Leah violently resisted the new co-wife, leading to a bitter dispute that saw her arrested and locked up.
She later came to terms with the new developments, and agreed to leave her home.
“She completely refused to leave her home for a newcomer. Much later she was sweet-talked into an arrangement that got her a few millions to build her own home in Landless,” a source told the Standard.
Isaac, her husband gave out the initial Sh2 million which started the building project but the money dried up before constructions. Her pilot son took over and helped up complete the project before she moved in around 2010.
In the new home, neighboring one of her sons- Charles Gachire- Leah took to a solitary life, rarely interacting with neighbors and largely keeping to herself.
In 2015, her second born son David Kihara, passed away in May 2015. Leah’s husband was a director at Trans Business Machines Ltd, and died on October 19, 2017 after a short illness.
Their last born son- John Nyagah- took over the business but died two years later in October 2019, compounding her depression. The family originally hails from Kiangige, Kariara ward, Gatanga sub-county in Murang’a county.
That Leah was not in best of terms with her two remaining sons; the KQ Pilot and Charles Gachire is evidently clear from the circumstances of her death.
Although the Pilot was sending upkeep monies on a monthly basis, he was not following up the same with a call to the mother. Gachire on the other was reportedly keeping off her mother according to their neighbor Isaac Njoroge.
“There are so many people that are dead, why are you following this one?” Gachire told a Standard team when we reached out to him.
Leah’s last interactions with family members were sometimes in July last year. In September, neighbors stopped seeing her around and assumed she had travelled.
Christmas and Easter, holidays which unite most Christian families came and passed, and Leah was nowhere to be seen or heard. When she was discovered, Leah’s expansive home was a ghost area.
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Besides her skeleton was skeleton of her dog, and the chicken pen was littered with bone remnants of her past-time.
The granddaughter who first accessed the house where Leah lived, was summoned by homicide detectives on the day a video she took went viral.
Carol Njeri Kihara appeared before detectives earlier today alongside two other people believed to have been the last persons to interact with the late.
Njeri had been called on June 13th, and informed that Nyumba Kumi people wanted to break into her grandma’s house. Two days later, she climbed over the fence watched over by village security and found the house vandalized.
She reported to Makongeni police who came. Five days later while clearing the compound, she stumbled on the skeleton of her grandma under a mango tree in the compound.
The video she took on the day she first broke into the house went viral yesterday.
It recounted the state of the house and was reportedly made to apprise her uncle, Leah’s pilot son, on the state of affairs.
“Uncle, this is Cucu’s bedroom, you can see how messy it is. All sockets have been plucked out, the certificates are all over. I don’t know if there were thieves in the house who have done all this. There are jembes all over the floor, she says in the video.
"This is the kitchen, there is no cooker, the gas cooker. The sitting room… the TV has been broken into pieces. I think this is foul play coz I don’t think Cucu can do this. All the family photos are scattered on the floor, just look at the lights. They are all broken,” she further narrates.
The video captures clear attempt to reach out to the house ceiling. A stool was placed on top of a chair, and ceiling lid opened. The refrigerator was smashed and some electronics, like the microwave were missing.