New twist unfolds in elderly couple's cold blood murder

Residents mill around Edward and Grace Morema's house in Nyamakoroto village, Nyamira County. [Stanley Ongwae, Standard]

Relatives have linked the cold blood murder of an elderly couple in Nyamira County to a dispute over property in Nairobi.

The bodies were found inside the family's house in Nyamakoroto village, Nyamira County, on Tuesday.

Masaba North Sub-county Police Commander Robert Ndambili said he suspects the execution of the couple was committed by hired 'professional killers'.

Detectives tying to unravel the mystery behind the killing said the killers never left any footprint.

In the heinous act that has left neighbours shocked, the body of Edward Morema Nyagechi, who lives in the US, was found lying near his garage with deep cuts on his head, with his hands and legs tied using binding wire.

His wife, Grace Morema, 60, was found in the bedroom with deep cuts around her neck and tied just like her husband.

The killers had also gagged the couple's mouths using pieces of cloth.

Their murder comes barely two years after their nephew, a university don, was also killed in a nearly similar fashion, with the attackers leaving little footprints.

Vandalised CCTV

Scene-of-crime detectives are rethinking the strategy of unravelling the killing since the family's closed-circuit television systems was vandalised.

"The killers tampered with the CCTV systems in the home, and apparently, they dismantled the Digital Video Recorder of the system and walked away with it," Ndambili said.

However, Ndambili said detectives were exploring other strategies as they seek to apprehend the suspects.

"We are now engaging higher mechanisms of rounding them up, which may take some time and some processes," he said.

The couple was living with a female house help and a gardener whom the police are holding after they said they were persons of interest in the investigations.

"They were living with the couple, and it is unbelievable that they were present in the compound when the murder was happening, and yet they could not tell something was going on wrong," Ndambili said.

According to the couple's grandson, Samuel Matundura, who lives about 100 metres away from their house, the killings were discovered at around 10am after they became suspicious upon learning that the couple had not woken up as usual.

Neighbours were forced to enter the multi-roomed single-storey mansion before they discovered the hacked bodies in different locations.

Pool of blood

"We found my grandmother's body lying on one of the beds on the upper floor of the house while my grandfather's body was in a pool of blood at the garage on the ground floor," Matundura said.

Matundura said only the household and gardener would identify a fifth person said to have been in the house on the night of the murder.

"What the house girl told us was that from her observation of the guest's conversation with the couple, he was an acquaintance to them," Matundura said.

It is believed that the guest may have been among the hitmen who committed the murder, and the police are also pursuing leads that can help them identify him.

There was no break-in to the compound or house except for a gap near the home's iron-wrought gate which the murderers may have used on their way out.

Apparently, it is a Herculean task for the sleuths to pursue the killers who eliminated the couple in a bizarre way just like couple's nephew, Zachariah Mumbo Mosoti, a university don, who was also found dead in a rented house at Kamulu in Nairobi after running away from his two matrimonial homes in Kamulu, Ruai.

Just like Morema's, the don's murder was also smartly executed, with the killers planting blue pills, a carrier bag with a woman's bra and underwear beside his lifeless body, according to a relative.

A post-mortem report by Government Pathologist Dr Dorothy Njeru indicated the don was strangled.

The late Prof Mosoti, who was then an associate professor at the United States International University in Nairobi, died in December 2021.

Property link

A close relative, who did not want to be quoted, said Morema's killing could be connected with wrangles that are related to Prof Mosoti's properties.

Relatives said the murder of their kin was a shock to the entire village due to the fact that he was a person who had made a positive impact in the community.

"The killing can never be suspected to have been done by anyone from around here. I have a feeling that if there is anyone with a difference with our brother, then it must be someone who is not from around," said Bosire, his half-brother.

According to Bosire, his brother, 63, was a key person in their extended family, and he was central in a dispute pitting various interested parties in Prof Mosoti's properties in Nairobi.

"The property dispute is in court, and he was one person who was very key in the arbitration of the matter that had reached a point of having some transfers of the contested properties cancelled," Bosire said.