The quarry broker who murdered his wife and three children before dousing himself and burning their house in Malaba estate, Juja, had financial problems.
Witnesses who spoke to SDE said he had been conned money Ksh 1m for a “military contract”.
“He had been promised that the deal would go through in two days, but when he called them, their phones were off, yet those he had borrowed money from were putting him under pressure,” said Monicah Nduku, another of Nderitu’s sisters-in-law.
She added: “I think the pain of losing the money triggered something in him that made him kill himself and his family. He could not take it. It is so cruel. I just saw the body of my sister and the older boy who had cuts on his head. I do not think I can fathom the death of the children.”
Patrick Ndiritu is also said to have been involved with another woman.
Tabitha Njeri, a close friend of the family, said she had known them for six years. They stayed together on Kenyatta Road before moving to Malaba. Njeri said on Sunday Ndiritu’s wife Rosemary Kanini called and asked her to visit for prayers.
Kanini was overwhelmed with stress and thought prayers would help. Njeri did not make it as she was busy in church. The two had been praying together from the time they lived together on Kenyatta Road.
“Kanini and I believed in prayers. That is why she used to call me whenever she had problems,” Njeri said.
Kanini recently told Njeri that Ndiritu was seeing another woman. Another family friend said Kanini had approached her, requesting for Sh300,000.
The money was unavailable. A neighbour said Kanini had told her Ndiritu needed Sh1 million to supply bricks and make Sh4 million. The cash was not forthcoming.
On Monday, Ndiritu killed Kanini and their three children Joe Muraga aged seven and four-year-old twins Jeff Mutua and Joy Wangui. Kanini had complained that the woman her husband was seeing had been calling her.
Rescuers who climbed into the compound at 1am could hardly save anything. Chief Muiruri Muchui and Witeithie AP commander James Dawai were at the scene. Residents jammed the compound to have a glimpse of the scene described as a “site of death”.
By this time, the screams had subsided and fire had engulfed part of the house, including the sitting room, the kitchen and the children’s bedroom.
According to SDE:
“Using the same tools, we broke the door and entered the house. We found Nderitu, who was on fire, screaming in pain in the sitting room,” said John Kamau, one of the neighbours. “We pulled him out to the verandah, where there was no fire, and poured cold water on him to put out the fire,”
“Kanini was lying on her back on the bed. On closer scrutiny, we saw deep cuts and stab wounds on the head, chest and neck,” said Jackson Thuku, another neighbour. “Close to her chest was a knife with fresh blood. The bodies of the three children, which also bore deep wounds, were on the floor near the bed.”
Muchui urged Kenyans with family problems to pray and seek counselling, instead of killing each other. He said there has been an increase in such cases, which is a worrying trend.