Nothing made sense, and Winnie Odhiambo had hoped that her husband would wake up from his coma so that she could get answers from him.
She wanted to know if indeed, as the police said, he had killed their two children by injecting them with insulin and then injected himself. If he had, what drove him? What had he told the children when he was doing it and what were their last words?
As fate would have it, Dr James Gakara, 54, would die after spending four days in the ICU at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, leaving behind a distraught wife and a shocked community.
A day before the doctor’s death, Winnie and her friends had visited the doctor in hospital and held prayers. The doctor was still unconscious, but his wife was hopeful that he would get better.
“I had really waited for you to regain consciousness so that I can know the truth and find closure,” she said as her husband’s body lay on the bed, before it was taken to the mortuary. Then, overwhelmed by emotions following the death of her entire family, Winnie fell ill and was admitted to the High Dependency Unit at the same hospital. By press-time, the 29-year-old was still admitted.
Her elder sister, Roseline Odhiambo, told the Nation that Winnie was overwhelmed by grief, and that the entire family was still in shock following the deaths.
“My sister and her husband were very close and they had no differences at all. The stories going around that my sister was planning to go abroad are all lies. Her husband was really supporting her and she had even enrolled for classes at JKUAT (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology). Actually, the Saturday before, she attended her first class. They were on really good terms,”
“The day of the deaths of the children, they had been in constant communication and Doc had even asked his wife to suggest where to take the children for their outing,” said Roseline.
She also told the Nation that in the last conversation Winnie had with her husband, he had told her not to travel back to Nakuru after classes that Saturday, and that he would pick her up in Juja, since he would travel to Nairobi with the children.
Dylan Gakara, 5, and Karuana Gakara, 3, were on Saturday night found dead inside their apartment, while their father was unconscious in the same house.
Injected with drugs
On Sunday, Nakuru County Police Commander Beatrice Kiraguri said preliminary investigations showed that the well-known doctor had injected his children with drugs before attempting suicide.
Police officers had camped by the doctor’s hospital bed, hoping he would provide more information about what transpired behind the locked door that Saturday.
Crime Scene investigators found used syringes and an assortment of drugs in the room where the children's bodies were found.
After the death of the doctor, his family had a difficult time moving his body to the PNN Funeral Home, because the process has been complicated by the fact that when police took him to the hospital, they booked him in as an “Unknown Male Adult”.
When he died, his family was asked to get an affidavit showing they are related to him.
The children’s bodies are also being preserved at the PNN Funeral Home.
Nakuru West Sub-County Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Stephen Ambani said the police have begun investigations, and that samples extracted from the bodies of the children were taken to the Government Chemist for toxicological analysis.
The family, through spokesperson Burton Njoroge, said it hoped a post-mortem would be done Wednesday before moving the body, but by press-time, the procedure had not been done, as the chief government pathologist, who was to oversee it, was still in Kericho.
Gakara's elder sister, Mary Nyagathii, Wednesday renewed calls for investigations into the suspected murder-suicide to be expedited, and called on police to approach the investigations with an open mind.
Earlier on Monday, Winnie had posted on Facebook, a post that insinuated that she believed her husband was behind the murders of the children.
“The person you trusted the most betrayed you my darlings, I promise to fight for justice for you; Go well my sweethearts.”
Gakara, according to police, had taken the family’s house help and the children out on Saturday afternoon, September 18, but returned with the children only. The house help has since been questioned by detectives.
County Criminal Investigation Officer Anthony Sunguti Wednesday said that after investigations, the police will present their findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further directions.