Njoki Muchemi’s kin, still reeling from shock, yet to decide on burial site

The Stanton family

Mary Njoki Muchemi (right) was killed alongside her two daughters on Saturday by her husband. Left: Ms Muchemi with her husband Gary Stanton and their daughters Brianna Stanton (carried) and Andrianna Stanton.

Photo credit: Pool

The family of Njoki Muchemi, the woman who was murdered along with her two daughters in Louisville, Kentucky by her husband, is yet to decide whether the three will be buried in the US or Kirinyaga, Kenya. 

Njoki (49) and her daughters, Andrianna (17) and Brianna (11), were shot dead by her husband Gary Stanton (60) on Saturday morning, before turning the gun on himself.

Her family in Kirinyaga is still reeling from shock, even as they hold discussions over whether to lay the nurse and her daughters to rest in Kenya or the US since they held dual citizenship. 

"We are yet to agree where the victims will be buried because they are American and Kenyan citizens," said Mr Moses Muchemi, Njoki’s bother. 

Moses Muchemi

Mr Moses Muchemi whose sister Njoki Muchemi and her two daughters were shot dead in the US by her husband. He said the family has been thrown into mourning following the incident.

Photo credit: George Munene I Nation Media Group

"We are grieving after what happened to Njoki and her daughters," another family member told the Nation.

The Kirinyaga family said they believed that her husband, Mr Stanton, was a good man until the shocking incident occurred. 

"He loved his wife and children and we never thought he would do that. Even now we are still reeling from shock," said her brother. 

Njoki’s relatives also acknowledge that while the couple was quite conservative, they lived large.

"They lived a good life. They were people of means and their life style was admired by many," added Mr Muchemi, a software engineer based in Kerugoya town.

Months before the fatal shooting, Njoki and her husband visited Kirinyaga in October to bury her father, Mr Geoffrey Migwi, who died after a short illness at Kiamaina village.

Mr Migwi died in Washington, US, and Mr Stanton was instrumental in transporting his body to Kirinyaga for burial. According to the family, he met most of the transportation costs.

After her father’s burial, Mr Stanton returned to the US while Njoki remained in Kenya for three more weeks. 

"My sister had to remain behind because we wanted to start the succession process together," added her brother, who noted that Mr Stanton would call his wife on a daily basis to check on her. 

"Mr Stanton had a passion for his wife. He and my sister shared bank accounts. They were honest with each other and no one expected that such a seemingly good relationship would end like this." 

Now, Mr Muchemi has to deal with the grief of losing his father and sister in the space of a few months. 

Her family is seeking answers to understand what led Mr Stanton to murder his family and end his own life.

"The US is investigating the matter and we are eagerly awaiting the truth," her brother said. 

However, going by his recent posts on social media, it appeared that Mr Stanton was struggling with mental health issues. On November 22, he posted an update on Facebook saying that he would no longer follow his doctor's prescriptions since they were not helping him. 

"Therapists tell me I can work through, but the medication is not working. I hate the way I am feeling inside. Mental health is grabbing a strong hold on me. I hate what I am feeling" he said.

Njoki left Kenya for the US more than 10 years ago. It is here where she met and fell in love with Mr Stanton.

Already some members of the family have left for the US. 
 

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