At the home of John Ndonu at Mirera in the periphery of Naivasha town, dark clouds hanging in the air personify the gloomy moment.
Mourners, in studious silence, continue to troop to the homestead to condole with the family that lost their first-born daughter following her bizarre killing on Thursday.
Some, too emotional to cope with the moment, weep openly, as others sit forlornly on plastic chairs inside a tent.
Mr Ndonu's daughter, Valerian Njeri, was stabbed more than 20 times reportedly by a 17-year-old boy after she turned down his request for intimacy. She was killed less than 100 metres from her family’s homestead.
Her innocent gesture to return a book earlier given out to her by a neighbour she trusted turned fatal.
The assailant, according to police investigators, used the book to bait the unsuspecting girl and lured her into the house.
Mr Ndonu is yet to come to terms with the death of his first-born child whom he described as the family’s beacon of hope.
“She was everything a parent wanted in a child. She was obedient and loved education. She wanted to become a doctor and was passionate about it,” said the mourning father.
She had scored 346 marks in the KCPE exam, laying bare her education prowess, and secured admission at the prestigious Mary Leakey Girls’ School. She was set to join Form Three next year.
Her mother, Mary Goleti Chepleting, said she was a staunch Catholic. “We used to pray in turns whenever she was home,” she recalls.
On the fateful day, Mr Ndonu recalls reminding her daughter to complete her house chores as well as her holiday assignments.
“She promised to do so the same day and we agreed I would append my signature on the school diary as is the norm. That was the last time we spoke,” said Mr Ndonu, overcome with emotion.
The local Nyumba Kumi chairman, Mr Daniel Gichanga, is still pained by the incident that happened a stone’s throw-away from his place of business.
“I even asked the teenager arrested for the killing to get me a glass of drinking water and he did it without exhibiting any emotions,” said Mr Gichanga.
He said the boy, a Form Three student at Nanyuki High School, used to lend his books to Njeri during school holidays.
“The teenager accosted the victim after she returned one of the books at around midday. After she turned down his advances to get intimate, he turned wild and stabbed her several times,” said Mr Gichanga.
Police said the suspect hid the body inside his room and later dumped it outside the family’s compound under the cover of darkness.
Naivasha DCIO Kenneth Njoroge said the boy is the key suspect.