The body of the mother of televangelist and former presidential candidate pastor Pius Muiru was on Thursday found buried in her compound.
Grace Wangari was killed by one of her daughters-in-law and a worker, police said. The body was exhumed from her farm in Karika in Kigumo, Murang’a.
Wangari was lured from her house, brutally killed and then buried in a cowshed, according to a police report.
On Thursday, villagers thronged her home as Kigumo Divisional Police Commander Ali Zimbu, had the body dug out from a shallow grave.
A guard who had worked for the family for 10 years led the police to the spot, 70 metres from her house, where he said he had buried the elderly mother of eight.
The guard and Wangari’s daughter-in-law are in police custody.
The guard implicated the woman, who is married to one of Wangari’s sons and lives on the compound. The motive of the crime was yet to be established. The two feet deep and a foot wide grave had been dug next to a spot where a cow had been buried, in an attempt to cover the crime. It was covered with manure and grass.
Pastor Muiru eulogised his mother in a post on his Facebook page, remembering her as a religious and humorous woman.
“It is with deep sorrow that I want to let you know that my mother has gone to be with the Lord,” the post read. “We do not mourn because of her departure but we rejoice for the years God gave her to us to celebrate, sharpen, laugh, pray, fellowship and even spend time with her.” Preliminary findings showed that some of the woman’s bones had been broken in what appeared to be an attempt to force the body into the grave. She had also been hit on the head.
According to a police report, the guard confessed to the crime and said he was hired by other people to dig the grave and help bury the body.
“After interrogating him several times, he finally revealed where he buried her and said he was working with people from outside,” said the police report.
“He said he was given the job of digging the grave and burying the body.”
Wangari’s two sons who live on the compound said they last saw their mother on Monday evening in her house. When they asked the guard whether he had seen her, he claimed she had gone for a walk on Tuesday but she never returned.
“This was surprising because she had been ailing and rarely left her home,” said Robert Gaitho, Wangari’s brother.
He said they searched for her around the area and at their relatives’ homes but she had not been found three days later. Her phone had been switched off and her house locked from the outside.
Detectives got a breakthrough when the signal of her mobile phone was tracked to the house of the guard. Police officers searched the house, found the phone and arrested him as the first suspect to what had been thought of as kidnapping.
Nothing has been reported stolen from Wangari’s house, which has been sealed off as a crime scene.
Zimbu said: “We cannot ascertain that other people were involved but we have possible leads”.