Shock and disbelief gripped Kapkiamo village in Baringo North on Wednesday morning after a 19-year-old girl hanged herself outside their home after killing her four-month-old baby.
The deceased, described by close relatives as a girl with a promising future after she topped her class in the nearby Kapkiamo Secondary School, chose an avocado tree outside the homestead of Mzee Kandie to end her life.
Outside the home, neighbours spoke in hushed tones upon viewing the blue mosquito net dangling on the fruit tree that was used to snuff out the girl’s life.
According to the mother Rael Kandie, the girl could not explain the whereabouts of her baby boy, Roy Koech who she had gone out with early on Monday morning only to return by herself a few minutes later.
“I immediately asked her where the child was but she told me not to worry insisting the baby had been taken by his father who had promised to take care of him as she continued with her studies,” said Kandie.
The mother further narrated that the girl was seen by a neighbour crying while carrying the baby near the gate and holding a jembe. The neighbour alerted the family but before they could step out to enquire what was happening, Lucy Kimuge had come back.
Her mother now believes that too much interrogation about the child may have led her daughter to commit suicide.
“On that Tuesday morning she took her breakfast and dressed up to go to school; I escorted her to find out why she had given out the baby to the father without telling us but she insisted that the baby was safe and sound in Fluorspar area, which is more than 50 kilometres away,” added the mother amid sobs.
But the events of the day which included the news that the area chief was searching for her inquiring on the child’s whereabouts may have pushed the girl to commit suicide.
She reportedly took her dinner and did house chores as usual before telling her mother to wake her up by 5 am on Wednesday morning because she had an early lesson to catch in school.
Speaking in their humble house which is a mix of iron sheets, mud and timber walled, the mother said she hesitated waking up the girl at the agreed time but her father took the burden to alert the girl.
“She even borrowed my rubber shoes to wear to school, but she was never to go to school as moments later we found her body hanging outside the house,” added the mother of seven.
They reported the incident to the chief who called in the police and after conducting a search in the compound, found the body of the child in a shallow grave behind their house.
Apparently, the deceased had relocated the body from the initial location after suspecting that it would be easily identified from the information that she was seen there with a jembe on Tuesday morning.
“The pressure on her to reveal where the child was and the fact that the area chief was involved became too much for my daughter to bear,” said the mother saying that the bright girl had secured a bursary to finish her secondary school education.
Confirming the incident Baringo North Sub County Police Commander Mr. Fredrick Odinga said they collected the two bodies and transferred them to the Baringo County Referral Hospital mortuary to await post mortem to ascertain the cause of death.
He also revealed that officers from the DCIO’s office had commenced investigations on the matter.
“We suspect that the girl may have decided to kill the baby so that she may continue with her studies which had stopped after she gave birth and upon realizing that she could no longer bear the pressure she took her life,” said the officer.
While acknowledging that cases of suicide were on the rise in the area, Mr. Odinga called on area residents to seek alternative methods of solving problems other than taking their own lives.
The incident comes barely a month after another man committed suicide in the area after reports that his wife was seeing another man.
By Christopher Kiprop