Suspected serial killer Moses Kipchirchir yesterday led detectives to Kiptunga Forest in Eastern Mau, where police said he could have killed and buried a forest scout nine years ago.
The ex-convict, who police have linked to the killing of a Nakuru businesswoman as well as his own wife and her lastborn son, took investigators to the forest in search of what would be his fourth murder victim.
Police said Kipchirchir had complained of having nightmares and had asked not to be pushed to reveal more details of what police believe could be a longer trail of murders by the time they are done with investigations.
“He complains that he has been seeing some of the people he killed pleading with him to spare their lives. This is what is making him confess,” said a senior detective.
The 34-year-old suspect has reportedly promised to lead detectives to yet another site in Baringo where he claims to have killed and buried another person.
Detectives said their preliminary analysis indicated that the suspect killed his victims by strangulation or “crude weapons” such as axes, before burying them in shallow graves.
Kipchirchir has been in custody at Mogotio Police Station since he was arrested on December 8 in connection with the abduction and killing of businesswoman Veronica Kanini,42, in Nakuru.
He has since led detectives to the banks of Mogotio River where the body of Kanini was exhumed earlier this week. The bodies of his wife Purity Chebet and their lastborn son, Ezra, who were reportedly killed months before the Nakuru businesswoman, were also exhumed on the banks of Mogotio River this week.
Baringo County Criminal Investigation Officer Joseph Mumira said the suspect had also confessed to killing a forest scout in Marioshon, Eastern Mau Forest, using an axe in 2012.
Mr Mumira said the ex-convict had told them that he was an illegal charcoal burner in the Mau forest in 2012, when the killing supposedly took place.
The police boss further said the ex-convict had told them that he had been found by the forest scout burning charcoal and a fight ensued during which he claimed to have split the forest scout’s head with the axe.
"While being questioned by the police, he revealed that he killed a man whom he buried in a shallow grave in the expansive forest. He has agreed to lead us to the scene,"said Mr Mumira.
Detectives from Mogotio and Molo had been dispatched to the forest but were yet to find the said body by the time we went to press.
Mr Mumira said they had taken samples from the scene Kichirchir had shown them for further investigations.
Police said Kanini was killed after reporting to the authorities that her husband had forcibly taken away their lastborn son. They further said the son could have been killed so as not to arouse suspicions about the whereabouts of the mother.
Police said the suspect was arrested on November 13 after it emerged that he had received some money from Kanini’s phone shortly before the businesswoman disappeared. She had been missing for 11 days.
Suspicions that he had killed his wife and child arose after neighbours complained to the police that the ex-convict had been living with his wife after being released from prison in March last year.
They questioned the suspect and he reportedly confessed that he had killed both his wife and their lastborn son. Chebet’s remains were exhumed from the banks of Molo River and those of her son two kilometres away.
According to the police, Kipchirchir met Chebet in 2018 in Kapnyangale village in Mogotio and the two started living together. Chebet had two children from a previous marriage and during their cohabitation, she got her third-born.
The two reportedly fought often and on November 19, 2019, Kipchirchir was sentenced to one year in prison for causing grievous harm on his wife but was released in March last year on presidential pardon.
After his release from prison, Kipchirchir is said to have forcibly taken the custody of his child, prompting Chebet to report him to the police.
"After discovering that his wife had reported him to the authorities for taking the child, he tricked her to come back so that they sort out their marital issues. That’s when he killed and buried her. He also killed the child to avoid being asked the whereabouts of the mother," said Mogotio Sub-county Criminal Investigations boss Lucas Tumbo.
Chebet’s brother, Mr Victor Rono, a resident of Solai, said her sister had left her parents’ home in June after reconciling with her husband.
Mr Rono said his family had never met Kipchirchir and only spoke on phone with Chebet.
“We were in constant communication with the two, though we never met physically until September this year, when their phones went off. We unsuccessfully tried looking for her, only to be told that she had been killed and buried," said Mr Rono.
Mr Gerald Bitock, who lives around 100 metres from where the body of the child was exhumed, said the matter had left the residents in shock.
"We call upon the authorities to strengthen the Nyumba Kumi initiative. This will help us to keep tabs on where one is at a particular time to avert such occurrences in future," said Mr Bitock.
The remains of the three were moved to the Nakuru County mortuary, pending a postmortem.