A woman whose body was found hanging from an electricity pole in Rukanga village, Kirinyaga County, is believed to have been raped and strangled by her lover.
Damaris Njeri, 22, had been missing for three days when her naked body was found on the pole on February 11.
On Sunday, area police boss Mr Joseph Matiku said a postmortem showed she was raped before she was killed.
"Investigations have kicked off," he said, adding they were searching for Ms Njeri's boyfriend for questioning.
"Once we establish that it was the boyfriend who committed the heinous act, we shall prosecute him."
It is believed the killer picked up Ms Njeri from her parents' home in a neighbouring village on the evening of that fateful day.
On reaching Rukanga, they reportedly differed for reasons yet to be established and there was a scuffle which left her dead.
Terrified villagers alerted police after stumbling upon the body. They believed something was amiss when they noticed bruises on the legs and other parts of the woman's body.
The scene was "disturbed", one said, adding this indicated there may have been a struggle before Ms Njeri was killed.
"We saw the woman hanging on the pole and screamed in shock," another said, adding they did not know who she was.
One Ms Wanjiku Njagi said she had just woken up when she heard her neighbours screaming, so she rushed to the scene.
"On arrival I saw the woman dead and I almost fainted," she said.
Village elder Jephthah Gacibu said he had been preparing to go to his farm when he was informed of the brutal killing.
Mr Gacibu said it appeared the woman was killed before her body was placed on the pole. He called on police to carry out thorough investigations.
The villagers complained that insecurity had been on the rise in the area and told police to intensify night patrols.
"Several people have been found killed and cattle rustling is rampant. Police should wake up and do their work," said another villager.
The victim's father, Muriuki Kagunda, said, "I was shocked when I was called to the local police station and informed that my daughter had been murdered."
Mr Kagunda asked police not to rest until the killer is apprehended and charged in court.
"I am crying for justice after the brutal murder of my daughter," he said.