A widowed mother of four was beheaded by her farmhand lover who hanged himself in Silanga village, Passenga.

Joseph Njenga, alias Makumi, killed Hannah Njeri, in her 30s. She and her children between ages two and seven lived on her uncle’s farm in Emily, Munyeki, Ol Kalou. The two crime scenes are three kilometres apart.

Neighbours who discovered Njenga’s body notified police yesterday morning. Some Silanga and Emily residents said it could have been the result of a love triangle.

“The woman was mercilessly slaughtered. Her head was totally crushed and her throat slit so the extent that the head was almost severed from the body,” Nyandarua Central police boss Wilson Kosgei said.

He said a metal bar and a kitchen knife were found in the room where Njeri was murdered. They were probably the murder weapons, he said.

The body was wrapped in blankets in the bedroom. The children were playing outside, unaware of the crime. They told police their mother was “asleep and had a nosebleed”.

A resident who sought anonymity said a man had accompanied Njenga on Tuesday after he escorted his lover to Emily village. Her uncle lives in Nakuru.

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Police found a suicide note in Kiswahili and Kikuyu languages, indicating Njenga had murdered his lover before taking his own life.

“I, Makumi, have committed suicide. I have also killed my lover. Call the following numbers…,” he said in the note.

One contact belongs to Emily, a village elder, Mary Njeri, who is the slain woman’s grandmother.

The owner of the second number is not known, but a man picked a call made by Ol Kalou police boss Mark Masinde. He said he lives in Ol Kalou town.

Njenga’s employer, Eunice Wambui, said she hired him last December. She and neighbours described Njenga as a polite and reserved man who “kept to himself and had no friends”.

He looked after cows, sheep and crops. Wambui works in Nakuru.Njenga did most of his chores solo and the only person he visited or visited him was Njeri, a neighbour said.

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On Tuesday, Njeri had visited Njenga and he escorted her back home in the evening, the neighbour said.

Another resident said a man accompanied him back and might have been involved.

Njenga’s family was not immediately identified.

The two bodies were taken to J.M. Memorial Hospital’s mortuary.

Kosgei said Nyandarua Central DCIO Stanselous Mwangi would take charge of the cases.

“We must investigate the circumstances behind this crime. We don’t know who to blame, as the two are dead, but we must investigate,” he said.

He said the suicide note will make their work easier, especially with regard to Njeri’s death.

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