Nicholas Waruinge’s two daughters and his son are perhaps only alive because they had reported to the school.
On Tuesday, Waruinge, his wife, son, nephew, and farmhand were murdered in cold blood at their family home.
Earlier, he and his wife Anne Njenga, a nurse at Wangige Level 4 Hospital had taken their daughter Grace Karagi to Ngiriambu Girls in Kirinyaga county and her sister Joyce Njeri to St Angela Secondary School in Karura. Their eldest son had left for Mount Kenya University.
Detectives told the Star the assailants trooped into Waruinge’s home that evening in a white Nissan Sunny saloon car and two motorbikes. Some of them were known to the family.
The officers say the fact that they knew some of the visitors may have made Waruinge let his guard down, allowing them into their two gates.
The home has a high perimeter wall, reinforced with razor wire and electric fencing. The family had planned to install CCTV cameras on Wednesday.
Once in the house, the assailants divided themselves, each group tackling a member of the family.
Some stormed into Waruinge’s bedroom upstairs as the others went to the kitchen where his wife and the boys were.
Blood patterns in the compound show that though he had been attacked and bleeding, Waruinge ran from his bed to his elevated first-floor balcony and jumped.
Forensic material collected suggests that at the fall, he injured his legs. He still tried to run to safety.
“They caught up with him, overpowering him and dismembering his body at the gate,” a detective said.
Blood is splashed on the gate and at the place where the body was collected, with marks of struggle all too clear.
Detectives told the Star that each of the family members was killed in the same exact way: throats slit, arms were broken and multiple stabbings.
The wife’s body had 16 stab wounds on the front and eight at the back. Waruinge’s body bore 34 deep stab wounds.
Dan Njeru, Waruinge’s brother-in-law who was among those who identified the bodies, told the Star that the family is terrified.
“We have cried till all our tears are exhausted,” he said.
Only two weeks ago, he said, Waruinge had hosted a large family gathering in Naivasha, bringing together almost 40 people.
The home is now under tight security and homicide investigators spent the whole of Thursday combing the house for forensic evidence.
Kiambu police boss Ali Nuno said they had crucial leads and “in three days, I’ll tell you who committed this heinous crime”.
Waruinge worked in the United States as a nurse and returned home twice a year. He jetted into the country on December 4 to be with his family and took them to Naivasha for Christmas.
Njeru said that his family hopes the police find the perpetrators “because they appear to be people who are known”.
The two sides of the family are meeting to discuss the way forward, and planning for the burial.