Residents of Kipkener Location in Marakwet East have lynched a man suspected of killing his two sons and burying them in his house in January.
The angry residents on Monday descended on Mr Vincent Kimaiyo Chebii, 38, killing him instantly after he allegedly admitted that he had killed them and buried them in a shallow grave which he dug in one of his huts.
Kipkener Chief Joseph Kiptanui confirmed the incident.
"We rushed to the scene accompanied by police officers but by the time we arrived, members of the public had already lynched the suspect out of rage for what he had done," said the administrator.
COLD BLOOD MURDER
The chief said Kimaiyo is believed to have murdered his sons Kiptoo Kimaiyo, 8, and Kiplagat Kimaiyo, 6, in cold blood.
According to neighbours, the suspect had divorced his wife four years ago when their marriage hit the rocks due to his drunkenness.
His wife fled to her parents’ home with their five children and left her husband alone for close to three years.
"He went to his in-laws late last year and demanded custody of his children. It was agreed that he stays with three of his children and the other two were left with their mother," said Edwin Kisang, a neighbour.
Mr Kisang said the man stayed with the three children for some few weeks before he started behaving weirdly towards neighbours.
The suspect’s brother, Mr Samuel Chebii, said they were very concerned at his change of behaviour.
"It was around January this year when we noted that two of his children were missing. We tried asking him where they were and he said he had taken them to a relative in Kerio Valley and will bring them back soon,” said the brother.
All this time, neighbours and his family reported that Mr Chebii had become very cautious and would not allow anyone to go near his home. According to them, he would harshly treat anyone crossing his compound.
"It had reached a time when he started walking around with a bow and arrows or other sharp objects. We thought maybe he had gone mad," said a neighbour.
His uncle, Evans Kiprotich said on Monday morning, Mr Chebii admitted to killing his children but never gave a reason for his action. He showed villagers where he had buried them before he was taken out of his house and lynched.
"People got angry by his admission and stoned him immediately. He died before the police arrived," said Mr Kiprotich, adding that they found a grave inside his house.
Residents watched in disbelief as the bodies of two children were exhumed for identification and re-burying.
According to an official from the county health department, an initial examination to the bodies appeared to suggest that the suspect used a sharp object to stab the children.
"As a woman, I feel so sad. This is so tragic and I don't know if I will get sleep for days," said Jane Cheresek after viewing the bodies.
Family members and locals hurriedly buried the bodies of the children and that of the father without coffins in different graves in order to beat the 24 hours timeline set for burying the dead at this time the country is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.