Poroko village in Trans Mara West sub-county in Narok County has been thrown into mourning following the brutal killings of a woman and her three children, among them, an unborn infant.
The key suspect was identified as a 17-year-old boy, a Standard Eight student at Kipupu Primary School.
Trans Mara West police boss Hamisi Gonzalla said the suspect is a nephew of the slain woman.
Police say the teenager, who was serving a probationary sentence for stealing from the slain woman, may have killed her by stabbing her in the head, chest and other parts of her body.
He had stolen a radio and utensils including cups and plates. At the time, the woman pleaded with police not to jail him because she thought such an act would jeopardise her relationship with her close relatives.
The children were strangled by the twisting of their heads taken down the Poroko hill, far away from their home. Their bodies were arranged side by side in a maize plantation.
The woman was killed along with her unborn six-month-old child.
“It is shocking that this homestead will have to bury four people because the hospital has confirmed they will remove the unborn infant and have it buried separately. This is a criminal act and we cannot describe it in any other words,” said Mr Dominic Olonana, a resident.
Mr Olonana condemned thuggery in the area and urged locals to help the police to flush out the criminals and have them face the law.
“I understand the boy is from just next door. I am told that at some point, he was suspected of stealing from the deceased. He was arrested, charged and convicted but received a noncustodial sentence,” said Mr Olonana.
Neighbours and close relatives said the boy was a notorious criminal.
After members of the public caught up with him, he alleged that he had been stabbed with a sword. Since he was found alive, he will tell us who stabbed him,” said Mr Samson Leteipa, a close relative.
Mr Leteipa pointed out that the Poroko area had been hit by criminal incidents recently, with some criminals attacking villagers at night.
“Police should intensify patrols and flush out these criminals to make the area safe,” Mr Leteipa said.
“People cannot be under siege from these criminals to the extent that peace-loving citizens are fearing to step out of their houses at night. Do they want the villagers to relocate to town where there are police officers?”
Relatives and neighbours suspected that there might have been disagreements with the slain woman before the assailants wiped out the entire family members, leaving only the man of the house, who was away in Nairobi, where he works.
Mr Leteipa said the crime had caused fear among locals and called on police to act immediately.
A family member said that on Saturday night, they heard screams from the home of the woman but they were drowned out in heavy rain.
“After the screams persisted, we came out and went to the home of the woman. We found blood and beans strewn all over the house. There was nobody. The children were not there, not even their mother,” said Ms Zilpar Nareiyo.
Ms Nareiyo said after assessing the situation they did not know where the victims were. “We got confused as to what to do. We thought they had fled to safety.”
Ms Nareiyo said she and other villagers decided to keep vigil in the home until 10pm, when the men told the women to go back to their homes and allow them to keep watch.
“We stayed awake the whole night, wondering where the children were. We regrouped after my husband came and said the victim had been located seriously injured. She was rushed to Kilgoris hospital but because of the nature of her injuries, she was rushed to Narok where she was later confirmed dead,” said Ms Nareiyo.
“As we searched for the children, our men came and told us to raise the alarm because the children had been found killed and their bodies dumped in the maize plantation.
“We discovered that the children’s mouths had been blocked with a piece of cloth to keep them from screaming, before they were strangled.”
She appealed to the government to provide security in the area because people were fear-stricken by increasing crime.