The son of a couple who, along with three others, were brutally murdered in the Karura region of Kiambu County, Kenya, confessed to the crime.
The 22-year-old university IT student, described as Lawrence Simon Warunge, was apprehended on Friday, January 8, after he went missing on Tuesday night at their Karura home in Kiambu County after the brutal killing of his parents, brother, cousin and a mason.
Police said they arrested Lawrence after a three-day manhunt as a prime suspect in the incident.
After he was arrested, he later admitted to the incident and on Saturday led the police to a residence in the Mai Mahiu district, where the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, clothing, shoes, and a piece of paper were retrieved.
He threw the exhibits into a latrine in the pit. Police dug the wall of the latrine and used ropes from the 20-feet deep pit to retrieve the exhibits.
He also took the police to an open field in the same area where some of the evidence was destroyed, he said.
He killed the five alone, Lawrence says, but the police said they were open to the idea that there were other players.
The most disturbing part is where Lawrence said he met up with his dad, Nicholas Njenga Warunge, when, after jumping off the balcony, he broke one of his legs and escaped from him.
He says that when he ran away and jumped off the balcony, the father was struck by an electric cable and became more indisposed after he had broken a leg.
An officer who had heard the confession said, “This gave him time to catch up with him and he killed him like a snake.”
Lawrence’s girlfriend, who stayed at Mai Mahiu’s home, is also being held for questioning.
Lawrence said he hopped on a motorcycle at around 8 pm after he murdered the five using a kitchen knife and rode up to the nearby Wangige shopping center where he took a public service vehicle to Mai Mahiu while carrying the killing weapon and other retrieved evidence.
On arrival at Mai Mahiu, he said in his chilling confession, he went to an open field in the area where, on Tuesday, January 5, at around 11 pm, he burned some of them.
Homicide Unit investigators inspected the scene and retrieved the debris for examination. White surgery clothes were placed on by the officers and the suspect when they visited the scenes where he disposed of the exhibits.
Lawrence told the police that his parents were “Satanic and murderers,” so they deserved to die.
Lawrence is a city college student who was originally believed to have gone to school.
The signal from his cell phone was traced to Mai Mahiu, Naivasha. It was later traced to Thika on Friday and later to the Kabete district.
Police said the suspect went to the home of a relative in the area of Ngongoro to seek refuge there before being alerted on Friday night. When he told the police his parents were “satanic and cruel,” he was later arrested.
The police thought there were at least five people involved in the murder of Nicholas Njoroge Warunge, his wife, Annie, Christian and Maxwell’s sons, and James Kinyanjui, a construction worker.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, their badly decomposed bodies were found in their Kiambaa house.
A conflict over land is believed to have been the motive of the murder.
The bodies were transferred to the mortuary where on Monday a post-mortem is awaited.
During the incident, nothing was stolen from the compound.
Warunge came from the USA to Kenya, where he served as a Christmas holiday nurse about 11 days before his assassination.
His two older daughters had survived the cold blood assassination since they had gone to school the previous day. Neighbours also confirmed they are in high school.
Annie, who served as a psychology nurse with the Kiambu County Government, and two of her children were found killed and the bodies lying in the compound.
Lawrence told the police that he had entered the house through the rear entrance, where his mother Annie had been found, and that he had hacked her to death before slitting her throat.
The commotion in the kitchen attracted the attention of the second victim, Maxwell Njenga, his 13-year-old nephew, whom he confronted in the corridor and cut his head and throat. On December 26, 2020, Maxwell had just turned 13.
Christian Njenga, his blood brother, was also killed and his throat slit on his bed.
He claimed his father Warunge was in the master bedroom upstairs at the time of the attack.
He rushed to the balcony on sensing danger and jumped down where he broke his leg but he caught up with him and stabbed him 34 times before slitting his throat near the gate and left for the dead.
Also killed in the same style was the mason, James Kinyanjui who was in the home at the time of the attack. Lawrence claims he killed them all.
Kiambu police boss Ali Nuno said they will also revisit past unsolved murder incidents that happened in the family and are probably related to the latest murder. Last Tuesday’s incident was the fifth in the family according to Nuno.
He said that the first victim was killed in 2016, when Njoroge’s brother, Allan Warunge, was killed.
He was wounded and confined to a wheelchair for the first time before his attackers later pursued him.
In 2016, Alan Njire Waruinge, who was a survivor after being shot twice after being confined to a wheelchair, was involved in an incident. “And there was Kenneth Mungai Waruinge, who was later murdered along with his niece,” Nuno said.
“Kinyanjui Kamau, a member of the family, was killed under unclear circumstances as well.”