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Crime

Catholic Priest killed mother, son, commits suicide in Kenya

Catholic Priest Kevin Kipkoech suffocated a mother and her son before he committed suicide at the Government Quarters on Nairobi’s Jogoo Road, police have concluded.

A team investigating the murder, which was discovered on February 23 has concluded Kipkoech first killed Charity Cheboi and her son Allan Kipngetich by suffocating them before he committed suicide hours later.

The team revisited the crime scene on Saturday, February 27 before making the conclusion.

Among others, the team said they established Kipkoech had locked himself in the toilet using a lock. It is in the toilet where his body was found.

“Had there been another party in the house there is no way he or she could have locked the toilet from inside. It seems it is the deceased man who locked it to enhance his mission to die,” said one officer involved in the probe.

The detectives from the Homicide Unit say they have, however, not established the motive of the murder and suicide.

They plan to visit St Thomas of Aquinas Seminary in Karen, Nairobi, where Kipkoech schooled and was in his eighth year due to graduate as a Catholic priest this year, to get more information on his character.

“We don’t know if he was jinxed because he was to graduate and be a priest or there was any other issue. We intend to dig further on his character,” said another officer who asked not to be named.

The homicide team handed over the case to their Buruburu counterparts to continue and close the file as they concluded it was a murder and suicide case.

Cheboi and Kipngetich are set to be buried on Thursday in their village in Elgeyo Marakwet. They come from the same village as Kipkoech.

The investigations had found out that Cheboi and Kipngetich died out of smothering. This occurs when one is killed by covering their nose and mouth so that they suffocate.

Government chief pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor said a hand or a cloth was placed on the mouth and nose of the mother and son to deny them oxygen.

The boy had injuries on the neck and mouth while the mother had superficial subcutaneous injuries on her right upper arm an indication she was defending herself before she died.

Dr Oduor said the priest to be had cherry red tissues, which are found in the body of a person who has died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“The gentleman died because of carbon monoxide poisoning. I have gotten information that some jiko was found next to him,” he said.

The man’s body was found in the toilet with his hands and feet died. The tie, according to police was loose and could have been done by Kipkoech himself.

Further, according to the autopsy, the mother and son died earlier than Kipkoech.

Neighbours said they saw Kipkoech a day after Cheboi was seen entering her house. In the house, police discovered his clothes had some blood stains but the body did not have visible injuries.

The stains were apparently from the injuries from Kipngetich and his mother who both had blood oozing from their mouths.

“The mother and son died earlier than the man. This is because there was advanced decomposition on the two bodies while that of the man was fairly fresh. He might have died a day after the others,” said Oduor after conducting an autopsy on the bodies last Friday.

Kipngetich’s Kenneth Kiptanui did not live in the house. He said he learnt of murder after being informed that his son had failed to attend school last Monday. He visited Cheboi’s house after failing to get her on phone and found the bodies.

Police say they are yet to know the white substance that was found in the bedroom of the woman and her son. It is being analysed by experts even as the case has been concluded.

Among those interrogated were neighbours where the incident happened and the caretaker who called police.

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