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Baringo couple and child laid to rest after bizarre killings

RIFT VALLEY
By Vincent Mabatuk | May 3rd 2016

Grief engulfed Moringwo village as the bodies of three family members arrived for burial yesterday.

Residents were still struggling to come to terms with the killings occasioned by the family’s head.

Seven-year-old Bethwel Biwott’s coffin was sandwiched between his parents’ coffins.

According to relatives and police, Moses Keitany woke up on the night of April 3, picked a metal bar that he had hidden in the bedroom and hit his wife Magdaline Korir on the head, killing her instantly.

He then crept into the room where his first-born son Biwott slept, poured paraffin on the boy and set the house on fire. During the commotion, the house help picked the couple’s second-born child and fled.

Neighbours, who were attracted by the commotion and flames, rushed to the homestead and broke the door. However, Keitany and his son had already suffered extensive burns.

Relatives said the couple had not been in good terms after the husband allegedly secretly sold a dairy cow the wife had bought.

“The husband also had a secret affair with a woman who worked for them and the wife had got wind of the same and confronted him. Before she was killed, she had already sent away the house help but her husband was opposed to the move,” said a relative, who sought anonymity.

Burn injuries

The trio were buried side by side on a small piece of land purchased by the young couple. The child’s grave was placed between those of his parents.

The couple’s three-year-old-daughter, who escaped with the house help on the fateful night, was handed over to relatives after the burial.

A relative, Joseph Leboo, told mourners the mother of two died after her head was smashed during the attack while her husband and their son succumbed to injuries they unsuccessfully battled for 26 days at Mediheal Hospital in Nakuru.

Caskets bearing the remains of Moses Keitany, his wife Magdaline Korir and their son Bethwel Biwott at their home in Moringwo, Baringo County. (PHOTO: KIPSANG JOSEPH/ STANDARD)

“A postmortem revealed she died after her brain was smashed while the assailant and the boy died because of extensive body burns. This is very painful and we urge young couples not to resort to violence in times of family differences,” said Leboo, who is also the Lembus council of elders’ chairman.

Residents described the woman, who was a pharmacist and operated a chemist in Eldama Ravine town, as hard working. Poror location chief Stanley Kimaiyo said it was painful and a great loss to bury three people at once because of family issues, which could have been solved through non-violent mechanisms.

“The woman resting in front of us alongside her family worked extra hard but it is unfortunate that she had to die under such circumstances,” said the administrator.

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