Nandi village in shock after man kills step-sons following domestic dispute

Nandi murders

Locals and police officers exhume the bodies of two children aged four and six from a shallow grave in Chemundu Forest in Nandi County. The two children are suspected to have been killed by their stepfather following a domestic dispute with their mother.

Photo credit: Gabriel Kudaka | Nation Media Group

A domestic dispute between a husband and wife turned tragic when the man killed his two step-sons and secretly buried them in a shallow grave in a forest in Chemundu village, Nandi County.

The man, Kelvin Cheruiyot, 38, allegedly killed the brothers, aged six and four, after his wife, Brenda Jerop, 32, fled to her parents' home in Mosoriot following a domestic dispute.

The wife, who had been away for less than a week, returned from her parents' home to find the two children missing, arousing suspicion among neighbours and some family members.

"For a while, we could not see those children. When we inquired from their mother about their whereabouts, she told us she ran away and left them behind after her husband threatened to beat her up. When we picked up the matter with her husband, he said he saw only two children at the doorstep when he returned home that evening,” said Sharon Jemutai, a neighbour.

Jerop reported the matter to the Mosoriot Police Station in Nandi.

After eight days of frantic search for the missing children, their bodies were discovered by a herder in Chemundu forest in Chesumei sub-county on Wednesday. They had been buried in a shallow grave.

Chesumei Deputy County Commissioner Fredrick Ogola said a stench from the bush led the herder to the scene.

Nandi murders

Shocked residents gather at the scene where the bodies of two children aged four and six were exhumed from a shallow grave in Chemundu Forest, in Nandi County. 

Photo credit: Gabriel Kudaka | Nation Media Group

"The smell led him to a hole in the bush. On closer observation, he saw something that looked like a leg of a human being. That is when he alerted his employer who reported the matter to the police," said Ogola.

The atmosphere was sombre as the decomposing bodies were removed from the shallow grave before being loaded into the police Land Cruiser.

The couple, who had been married for two years, had been embroiled in a protracted dispute before the incident.

Eunice Chepngeno, a relative of the mother of the deceased children, narrated how the two wanted to separate due to frequent arguments.

"She had wanted to stay alone and take care of her children but the husband kept on following her,” said Eunice.

"This family has had issues in the past. There was a time when they reported the matter to the Chemundu area chief who intervened. The two promised to live peacefully as husband and wife. But it seems their issues resurfaced," said Ogola.

Chemundu MCA Julius Kipruto advised couples to find alternative ways of resolving their disputes.

"Let us not kill our children or one another when we have our differences.  Let's speak out and get help from authorities or from any institution that gives us support,” said the ward representative.

The husband and wife are currently being detained at Mosoriot police station to assist the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in their investigation.

"We don't want to pre-empt the results of the investigations. We have left the whole issue with the team from the DCI. They will tell us what happened. But as of now, we are holding the husband and the wife as the key suspects,” said Ogola.

The bodies of the two children were taken to Kapsabet County Referral Hospital mortuary. The family also has a two-year-old daughter.