What you need to know:
- Police suspect that Mr Nicholas Njoroge might have tried to jump from the balcony of his house to the ground floor
- Police say they are also pursuing reports that Njoroge had a feud with his brother, who is also a neighbour.
Detectives investigating the brutal murder of four family members and a construction worker in Kiambu County are attempting to piece together the last moments of the victims.
At the same time, police believe that the people who brutally murdered the five in Kagongo Village in Kiambu on Tuesday night seem to have known them well.
The killers, police say, raided the home a day before the family installed CCTV cameras.
Police also believe that the three other children of the late Mr Nicholas Njoroge survived death because they had returned to school a day before the killers invaded their house.
One is a student at the Mount Kenya University, the other one is in Form Three and the last born in pre-unit.
Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, who is part of senior police officers investigating the macabre murder, told the Daily Nation that the killers could have used a family friend to lure the family of Mr Njoroge to open the gate.
Mr Njoroge was killed alongside his wife Mrs Wanjiku Njoroge, his son Christian Njoroge and a nephew identified as Maxwell Njoroge. A construction worker was also murdered.
“The house is well fenced with a perimeter wall and razor wire and there was no sign that the killers struggled to gain entry by breaking in. There is no doubt that the killers used someone close to the family to gain access to the house,” said Mr Wanyanga.
Detectives told the Daily Nation that their preliminary investigations show that the killers could have killed his wife, son and nephew first because bloodstains, presumably from the knives that were used, had left a trail from the sitting room to upstairs rooms.
They suspect that Mr Njoroge might have tried to jump from the balcony of his house to the ground floor where his killers caught up with him, hit him with a blunt object, stabbed him severally and later slit his throat.
Nothing was stolen from Mr Njoroge as well as from his family.
“You cannot understand the bitterness the killers had with the family to subject them to such a painful death. It was a gruesome murder,” police said on Thursday.
Shocked neighbours who spoke to the Nation in confidence said they did not hear distress calls on the fateful night.
They said that although Mr Njoroge’s home has a security alarm, it never went off.
“We heard nothing,” a neighbour close to the family told the Nation.
Mr Wanyanga insists that the killers must have disabled the alarm before executing the heinous crime.
“When we gained access to the house, we found that the alarm had been disabled and was not functional,” said Mr Wanyanga.
Another detective at the scene on Thursday told the Nation that for now, they are treating the deaths as family-related.
This is because, in 2016, Allan Njire, a brother of Mr Njoroge, was also shot by unknown assailants while parking his car in Kiambu.
He was in the company of his now-deceased brother.
Mr Njire survived the murder plot and now walks with a limp.
And in 2017, another brother of Mr Njoroge, identified as Mr Kenneth Mwangi, was hit from behind with a blunt object by unknown people.
He died instantly.
Mr Njoroge's niece was also stabbed to death.
Mr Njoroge was aged 54 and used to visit Kenya from the USA once in a year and he would spend roughly six months or a year in the village.
Neighbours said he was a polite man who loved his neighbours and put his family first.
“His wife, who was murdered alongside him, was a nurse in Kiambu county. Nicholas made sure that he made it to Kenya once or twice a year. He was a good man; a good man has gone,” an elderly woman and neighbour, who knew the family well, told the Nation.
Unlike on Wednesday when the scene of crime teemed with locals coming into terms with what had happened, on Thursday, only detectives and police officers were allowed inside.
“It is a crime scene and we are under strict instructions not to allow anyone inside. We have been told by our seniors to guard the premises for one month to avoid people coming in to tamper with evidence,” a police officer told this writer at the gate.
Police say they are also pursuing reports that Njoroge had a feud with his brother, who is also a neighbour.
The brother, police said, told them that although they are neighbours, they had not talked or met since Njoroge jetted into the country for Christmas on December 4.
So far, no arrests have been made.