How teenage girl was lured to her death by male suitor
At the home of John Ndonu in Mirera, outside Naivasha town, the dark clouds hanging overhead personify the gloomy mood.
Mourners, in studious silence, continue to troop to the homestead to condole with the family that lost their firstborn daughter in a bizarre killing on Thursday.
Some, too emotional to cope with the moment, weep openly, as others sit forlornly on plastic chairs under a tent.
His daughter Valerian Njeri was stabbed more than 20 times reportedly by a 17-year-old boy after she turned down his request for intimacy. She was killed less than 100 metres from her family’s homestead.
Her innocent gesture to return a book earlier given out to her by a neighbour she trusted had turned fatal.
The assailant, police investigators say, used the book to bait the unsuspecting girl and lured her into the house.
Mr Ndonu is yet to come to terms with the death of her firstborn child, whom she described as the family’s beacon of hope.
“She was everything a parent wanted in a child. She was obedient and loved education. She wanted to become a doctor and was passionate about it,” said the mourning father.
She had scored 346 marks in KCPE, securing admission to the prestigious Mary Leakey Girls School and was to join Form Three next year.
Her mother Mary Goleti Chepleting said her daughter was a staunch Catholic and loved the church.
“We used to pray in turns whenever she was home” she said.
On the fateful day, Mr Ndonu recalls reminding her daughter to complete her house chores as well as her holiday assignments.
“She promised to do so the same day and we agreed I would append my signature on the school diary, as is the norm. That was the last time we spoke,” said Mr Ndonu, overcome with emotion.
The local Nyumba Kumi chairman Daniel Gichanga is still pained by the incident that happened a stone’s throw away from where he operates a business.
“I even asked the teenager arrested for the killing to get me a glass of drinking water and he did it without exhibiting any emotions,” said Mr Gichanga.
He said the boy, a Form Three student at Nanyuki High School, used to lend his books to Njeri during school holidays.
“The teenager accosted the victim after she returned one of the books at around midday. After she turned down his advances to get intimate, he turned wild and stabbed her several times,” said Mr Gichanga.
Police investigating the incident said the suspect hid the body in his room before dumping it outside the family’s compound at night.
Mr Ndonu said that after being informed that his daughter was missing, he rushed home with his wife and joined neighbours, friends and relatives in searching for the girl.
“After several hours of searching, we gave up and decided to continue with the mission later. The following day, a neighbour stumbled on her lifeless body right outside our compound,” he narrated.
The boy accused of killing Njeri, Mr Ndonu adds, had attempted to start a relationship with her, but she flatly refused.
The police are still piecing together information but DCIO boss Kenneth Njoroge said the boy is the prime suspect.
“Initial investigations indicate that the teenager is a key suspect. He is still being interrogated,” he said.