What you need to know:
- A mother of three, who police believe was killed by her lover alongside her lastborn son, ignored numerous red flags.
- She shocked her family when she decided to reunite with the man hardly half a year after he slashed her on the head.
A mother of three who police believe was killed by her lover alongside her lastborn son had ignored numerous red flags, the Nation has established.
Police, relatives and neighbours told the Nation that from the time Purity Chebet agreed to move in with her lover, Moses Kipchirchir, the Nakuru couple’s cohabitation was rocked by violent feuds that saw Kipchirchir imprisoned for a year in November 2019 after he slashed her on the head with a panga.
Chebet shocked her family when she decided to reunite with Kipchirchir after the latter’s release from prison in March 2020, hardly half a year after he assaulted her.
Chebet’s hope that the man would change turned into a tragedy when Kipchirchir took her life and that of their 18-month-old son and buried the two on the banks of Molo River in Mogotio, Baringo County, according to the police.
Kipchirchir has also been linked to the abduction and murder of Nakuru businessperson Veronicah Kanini, 42, who’s badly decomposed body was discovered in a shallow grave on the banks of Molo River in Mogotio last month.
Police said Kipchirchir has since confessed that he killed the businessperson. He is also said to have told detectives at Mogotio Police Station that he killed his wife and his 18-month old son in September.
On Monday, the suspected serial killer led detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit to two locations in Mogotio, on the border of Nakuru and Baringo, where he had buried the two additional bodies.
Mogotio Sub-County criminal investigation boss Lucas Tumbo said they received information from the public on the mysterious disappearance of Kipchirchir’s wife and lastborn son and started investigations.
Mr Tumbo said Chebet’s family told them that she had been missing for months, prompting them to interrogate the suspect. It is then that Kipchirchir reportedly confessed to killing the two and on Sunday led them to the two spots where he had buried their bodies.
“After being told that he had been living with his wife, we inquired from the woman’s family but they told us that she had and her youngest son had gone missing. We started our investigation and upon interrogating him he led us to two separate scenes where he had committed the heinous act,” said Mr Tumbo.
Chebet’s decomposed remains were exhumed from the banks of Molo River and those of her son two kilometres away.
Chebet, 24, who worked as a casual worker, first met Kipchirchir, 32, in 2018 at a drinking party in Kapnyangale village, Mogotio Sub-county. Their relationship blossomed and the two agreed to move in together and start a family. Chebet, who had two other children from a previous relationship, got a third-born son by Kipchirchir.
However, Kipchirchir became increasingly violent and would always resort to fights whenever there was a quarrel, according to neighbours. The couple reportedly loved drinking and mostly fought after returning home while drunk.
“Kipchirchir would beat up Chebet and her children every time they had an argument,” said a neighbour.
In 2019, he was arrested and charged with causing grievous harm on his wife after he slashed her on the face with a panga. Kipchirchir was sent to Eldama Ravine GK prison in November 2019, where he was to serve for one year. He was, however, released before serving his full term under Ministry of Health measures aimed to stemming the spread of Covid-19.
“The suspect was released from custody before the end of his jail term since he was among those serving less than a year, which was the condition for the release.” Said Mr Tumbo.
As Kipchirchir went to jail, Chebet was recuperating at her parents’ home in Solai.
According to her brother, Mr Victor Rono, Chebet came home complaining of having been assaulted by her lover and remained there throughout the period of treatment.
Mr Rono said they were however shocked when Chebet decided to go back to live with her violent lover.
The two continued living together until September, when Ms Chebet and her son went missing.
Two months into the search for her whereabouts, Kanini, who sold seat covers and curtains at Mogotio market, went missing. Investigations into her disappearance led to the arrest of Kipchirchir on November 13, after the former prisoner was found in possession of Kanini’s mobile phone.
Upon interrogation, Kipchirchir confessed to killing the trader and burying her body in a shallow grave.
“Kanini had requested for Sh3,000 from a friend. Upon receiving the money, she forwarded it to Kipchirchir’s number, before her phone went off,” said Mr Tumbo.
The motive of killing the businessperson was yet to be established by the time we went to press, but a senior detective yesterday told the Nation and the trader may have had a love affair.
“We suspect the two were in a romantic relationship and the woman could have threatened to reveal his dirty secrets,” said the source.
One month later, Kipchirchir reportedly confessed that he killed his wife and son before strangling Kanini.
Mr Tumbo said Kipchirchir might have killed his wife to avoid being reported for kicking her out their house and taking away their son.
“To avoid questions on the whereabouts of the child’s mother, the suspect decided to strangle it too and the buried it two kilometers from its mother’s shallow grave along the river,” said Mr Tumbo
The three bodies were taken to the Nakuru County mortuary.
Kipchichir was arraigned on November 14 but is yet to take plea for the murder of Kanini after the police sought more time to conclude investigations.