A man went berserk and hacked his wife and son to death, before committing suicide following a domestic dispute at Kiandai village in Kirinyaga County on Thursday.
Jeremiah Muriuki, 42, killed his wife Peris Wanjiku, 42, and his son Jackson Kinyua,13, and then died by suicide by hanging on a tree.
According to neighbours, the man picked a quarrel with his wife after he allegedly went through her phone and saw a love text message she had received from a man believed to be her friend.
The quarrel degenerated into a physical confrontation after which Muriuki wiped out his wife and son in the family house.
He used an axe to eliminate his wife while the little boy's throat was slit with a knife.
After the brutal fatal attack, Muriuki, a peasant farmer, locked up the slain victims inside the building and fled to the neighbouring farm where he took away his life using a rope.
Residents and relatives who responded to screams of help found Wanjiku and her Standard Seven son lying in pools of blood after breaking into the house and reported the matter to police.
A family member, Cyrus Mbutu, said the assailant did the unthinkable.
" We never thought something like this would happen in our family. We are in deep sorrow," Mr Mbutu, a father to the assailant said.
A village elder, John Muriuki, said the couple had a sour relationship for long.
" They used to quarrel frequently with the assailant accusing his wife of infidelity. The recent case the couple quarrelled over a text message," said Mr Muriuki.
Kirinyaga police commander Mathew Mang'ira said it was unfortunate three family members lost their lives due to domestic row.
He narrated how his officers drove to the scene following a tip-off and found the woman and the school boy with deep cuts on the head and throat.
Mr Mang'ira said investigations had been launched with a view of establishing the actual reason why the family head took such a shocking action which sent shockwaves across the area.
Mr Mang'ira said murder weapons had been recovered at the scene.
Two other children of the assailant were not at home when the incident occurred.
"The assailant left behind two children, one is a secondary school student while the other one is married at kagio town," said Mr Mbutu.
A teacher, Peterson Karuthai, said he was taken aback when he heard that his pupil was among the dead.
"We have lost a very bright and humble schoolboy. We shall forever miss him," said Mr Karuthai.