A troubled marriage between husband and wife co-pastors ended in a bloody murder-suicide in Kenya Sunday when the husband fatally stabbed his wife of 20 years and mother of his four children, then slit his own throat in front of their congregants.
Witnesses to the murder suicide said that pastor Elisha Misiko, 55, of Ground for God's Gospel Ministries in Mombasa and his wife, Senior Pastor Ann Mughoi, had been feuding for months over the management of the church.
"The two had been running the church for more than eight years but, in the last few months, they differed over management,” village elder Mtengo Amuri told Kenya’s Daily Nation.
He explained that Misiko accused the mother of his children of plotting to push him out of the church they founded together.
Tensions between the two exploded unexpectedly Sunday when Misiko calmly entered the church Sunday at about 9 a.m., worshipers told the Daily Nation, and sat next to his wife on the pulpit.
As the service was underway, Misiko got up from his seat and appeared at first to be saying something to his wife but quickly pulled two knives from under his shirt and began stabbing her multiple times.
"The husband moved stealthily toward his wife and stabbed her in the back. When he tried to slit her throat, she blocked him, injuring her hand," Amuri said.
Worshipers eventually intervened to stop the attack but not before Misiko had stabbed his wife several times. Misiko reportedly slit his own throat as they tried to save his wife.
Police later revealed that Misiko had left behind a 17-page suicide note, The Star said, he titled Betrayal and Consequences.
In the letter, Misiko accused his wife of infidelity and painted her as a controlling spouse who wanted to be in charge of family property.
In one confession, he says that infidelity on his wife’s part and the fight to control family property drove him to the brink. He also accused her of trying to keep him away from their children while forcing him to pay child support as she dated another man.
"90% of my money I sent to her (Anne) but she wrote on social media that I don't pay fees or even buy clothes," Misiko said in the note cited by The Star.
"When we got married, life was hard. I was forced to do the mkokoteni business. I took a loan from SMEP and combined with the money I had accumulated to buy a plot. I bought a plot for the sake of my family," he added. "She took away everything we accumulated for over 19 years. She took away my plot of land and church equipment by force."
Mombasa sub-county police commander Julius Kiragu told CNN that in 2017, Misiko was detained by the police after his wife accused him of threatening her life.
He further noted that Misiko was released after police concluded the accusation was untrue.
The couple had reportedly been living apart over the last two years since tensions between them started escalating.
"She (wife) had been trying to stay away from the husband since the dispute over the ownership of the church began," Kiragu told CNN. "They had even reported the matter to church leaders but they were unable to resolve the dispute."