A court in Gichugu, Kirinyaga County has allowed police to hold for 14 days a man accused of hacking his wife and four children to death in order to give detectives time to complete their investigations.
Investigators will also have sufficient time to take the suspect, Paul Murage Njuki, 35, to hospital for medical check-up to establish his mental status and collect DNA samples from him to assist in the investigations.
The suspect was locked up following an application by one of the investigating officers, Lazarus Kiprop, who informed the court on Wednesday that they were yet to conclude investigations into the killings.
Further, Mr Kiprop said they required more time to record statements from prosecution witnesses and arrest more suspects in connection with the gruesome murders.
He narrated how he and his colleagues visited the scene and found the victims dead in their beds. One of the victims, aged 13 years, had been defiled.
Principal Magistrate Leah Kabaria ordered the suspect be remanded at Kianyaga Police Station until December 15 when she will give further directions.
In response, the suspect said he had no objection to the application by the investigating officer.
Earlier, the case was adjourned after the suspect told the court that he was unwell.
Mr Njuki could not take plea as he informed the court that he was sick and required to be treated first.
Immediately Mr Njuki entered the court room under tight security, he raised his hand saying he was having stomach pains and that he could not answer to any charges while he was unwell.
As he shivered, he asked that he be permitted to seek treatment.
Consequently, the magistrate ordered that the suspect be taken to the nearest hospital for treatment and brought back to court in the afternoon.
She told the investigating officers to implement her directive immediately before making any application regarding the suspect.
Mr Njuki went violent on Monday night and did the unthinkable, sending shockwaves across the village.
Surrendered to police
After the gruesome murders, the assailant surrendered himself to the law enforcers at Kianyaga Police Station where he was locked up for questioning.
He is said to have become violent when his wife, Millicent Muthoni, 38, attempted to block him from defiling their underage daughter.
He took an axe and struck his wife dead and then turned to the innocent children aged between one and 13 years and butchered them in cold blood. The children, two boys and two girls pleaded to have their lives spared but their pleas fell on deaf ears as their father continued cutting them up with the weapon.
The children, Nelly Wawira 13, Gibson Bundi, 5, Wambui Murage, 3, and Clifton Njuki, 1, were heard calling out for help before they suddenly went silent.
Neighbours responding to the distress calls found the victims lying in pools of blood and raised the alarm, attracting scores of residents who embarked on a thorough search of the assailant but they did not find him.
The neighbours said they heard Muthoni telling her husband to stop sexually abusing her daughter before commotion broke out.
After committing the heinous act, the suspect allegedly threw the murder weapon into a river.
Immediately after the murders were reported, police drove to the scene and removed the bodies to Kerugoya Referral Hospital mortuary.
As the bodies were being taken away, relatives were overwhelmed by emotions and wept uncontrollably and they had to be assisted by sympathisers.
Kirinyaga East Police Commander Anthony Wanjuu said it appeared as if that one of the slain girls had been sexually abused, adding that the matter was being investigated.
A relative, Patrick Njiru, said he learnt of the fatal attacks with great shock.
"I was at home when I was informed that my sister and her four children had been brutally eliminated. I hurriedly went to the scene only to be met by dead bodies," he said.
Mr Njiru described the attacks as inhuman, adding that the assailant should not go unpunished.
A resident, Mr Ndambiri Muchira, said the incident was the worst ever to happen in the area.
“This is the first incident of this nature to occur in this village and we are baffled," said Mr Muchira.
The children's grandmother, Rose Micere, said she almost collapsed on arriving at the scene.
“When I saw the dismembered bodies of my grandchildren, I nearly collapsed. It was a shocking scene," she said as tears welled up in her eyes.
Relatives described the assailant as a humble man.
"He lived a quiet life and we never thought he would do such a horrible thing to his family," Ms Micere said.