Family links grotesque killing of US-based Nyamira couple to property dispute

Edward Morema Nyagechi, 62 and his wife Grace Mong’ina Morema,

US-based businessman Edward Morema Nyagechi, 62, and his wife Grace Mong’ina Morema, 58, were discovered murdered in their house in Nyamira on Tuesday morning.

Photo credit: Family Album

The macabre killing of the US-based Kenyan man and his wife in Nyamakoroto village of Kitutu Masaba, Nyamira County, has taken a new twist after family members linked the deaths to a property ownership dispute.

The family members said the suspected killers may have been hired and funded by a disgruntled relative over property ownership dispute.

Sources indicate that the killings appeared well executed by people who had a predetermined mission to eliminate the two.

Bodies of Edward Morema Nyagechi, 62, and his wife Mong’ina Morema, 60, were found decapitated and thrown in various rooms at their house in Nyamakoroto village on Tuesday morning.

Mr Nyagechi’s brother, Samwel Bosire, called on authorities to conduct investigations with a fine toothcomb to nail the culprits whom he claimed had caused total terror in the locality by the grotesque killing of the couple.

Police in Nyamira arrested two suspects, the couple’s house help and farmhand, in relation to the grisly murder of the couple whose bodies showed they must have been subjected to excruciating pain in their final moments. 

Masaba North Sub County Police Commander Robert Ndambiri said they have arrested the maid and a farm labourer to assist with investigations.

The police boss, however, declined to comment on the allegations by the family members, saying investigations are ongoing.

"Yes, we have the two suspects in our custody. They are being detained at Keroka Police Station and are helping us with investigations," said Mr Ndambiri.

He said the house help was in the main house where the couple was found dead. He added that the farm labourer was in a smaller house adjacent to the main one.

But Mr Bosire alleged that family members were convinced that Mr Nyagechi might have been killed by hit men, probably sponsored from Nairobi, where an alleged disgruntled relative is living.

“It is my considered view that the deceased might have been killed by hit men hired from Nairobi because that’s where he has problems with a family member after he opposed an attempt to dispossess other members after the death one of their loved one,” Mr Bosire said.

“Mr Nyagechi was in the forefront in insisting fairness in the distribution of the property in question,” said Mr Bosire.

“They killed a great man and leader in our family. He was dependable and whenever there was a problem in the locality, he took it up like of his own, paid money and drove people to the hospital in his car,” said Mr Bosire.

Mr Nyagechi’s step-grandson, Samwel Matundura, pointed out that he did not believe that those who were arrested were connected with the crime.

While Mr Nyagechi’s body was found in a pool of blood in a corner of his garage, his wife’s body was found in a guest bedroom. Both bodies had cuts and their hands and legs tightly by a binding wire.

Mr Matundura said that it had been established that the farm labourer had locked the gates into the compound and left to sleep.

“The farm labourer was normally not allowed into the main house and that initial findings showed he had locked the compound and left to go and sleep,” said Mr Matundura.

There was an opening created by cutting down the fence adjacent to the gate where the killers are suspected to have gained entry into the compound, committed their heinous act and exited through.

Mr Matundura explained that the night preceding the killings, he and the slain Mr Nyagechi spoke on phone and agreed to meet in the morning in order to complete some tasks at home.

He explained that the following day at around 7am, he attempted to call the deceased but his calls went unanswered.

“After realising that his phone was off, I decided to contact grandmother but hers was also off. At around 8am, I contacted some neighbours to inquire whether they had spotted the couple since calls to both of them were not going through,” said Mr Matundura.

Mr Matundura stated that the neighbours told him that there was an electricity blackout in the area and that it was possible the couple’s phones may have run out of power.

However, Mr Matundura informed them that the couple had a working generator and that if the electricity was off, they also had the option of using solar to charge their phones.

“In addition, it’s not possible that both of their telephone handsets could have run out of power, hence I asked the neighbour to send someone to the house to find out about their whereabouts," he said.

He said that the neighbour sent a child who asked the house help about the whereabouts of the couple and that she—the house help—said they had not yet woken up.

“They resolved that they should inspect the house to determine if the two had woken up and why they had not stepped outside,” said Mr Matundura.

After gaining access to the house, the house help and villagers first stumbled upon the body of Mr Nyagechi’s wife who had deep cuts with her hand and legs tied with a binding wire.

He noted that after checking in the house and failing to find Mr Nyagechi, they moved to the garage where they found his badly mutilated body.

Mr Matundura said there was no break-in of the house and they suspect that a “guest” who was being entertained in the house may have turned into the monster that brought into the house the killers who took out the couple’s lives.

“The house-help told us that on the fateful night, she served the couple food and there was a man visiting and that he too joined them in the dinner,” said Mr Matundura.

Mr Matundura recounted that the house help had informed them that to her recollection, she had left Mr Nyagechi speaking with his “guest” after taking their super and that his wife had retired for bed and she too had left to her quarters to sleep.


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