The cold case murders of the Kuria Family - Powder Springs, Georgia - August 1, 2007

On August 1, 2007, Diana Maina and her aunt Pauline Thande tried to reach Jane Kuria's phone on her phone to no avail. No matter how many times they tried, Jane wouldn't answer. Because Jane had not answered the door the day before, the two decided to drive to the Kuria family's home to see if everything went well. While Pauline walked to the front porch, Diana went around the back. There the sliding door was slightly ajar, and she entered the house. It was dark, and there was a cartoon on TV... Then suddenly Diana saw blood on the floor. Lots of blood. And then a body...

The shocked Diana and Pauline called 911, and ten minutes later the street was crawling with police and ambulances. A helicopter flew over the house, and everything was cordoned off with yellow tape. When Diana asked an officer what on earth happened, he said there were two survivors and three dead. Jane Kuria, a 46-year-old mother of three, was murdered, along with her two teenage daughters Isabelle (19) and Annabelle (16). They were all bludgeoned to death. Son Jeremy (8) and nephew Peter (11) were alive, but both were found unconscious, seriously injured and had to fight for their lives. They were transported to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. 

Family Kuria
Jane Kuria and her three children moved from Kenya to Boston in 2001 after Jane's husband died. One of the biggest reasons the family wanted to leave Kenya was because of Jane's opposition to female genital mutilation. She and her children were reportedly not safe in the African country. A year after emigrating to America, the family moved to the suburb of Powder Springs, where Jane came to work in the hospital and nursing home. Isabella attended college in Chattanooga, while Annabel was a student at McEachern High School. And even though she was only 16 years old, Annabelle was already an active member in her local church. Young Jeremy was a happy child who loved basketball. He had the dream of one day returning to Kenya. The Kuria family was active, united, happy, well-behaved and sociable. None of them had bad intentions. They were just enjoying their lives and looking forward to the future.

According to her family in Austin, Jane was a wonderful mother who would do anything for her beloved children. Sometimes she had to be strict to ensure that the children arrived at school on time and did their homework well. But she also had a lot of fun together. According to her relatives, Jane was a strong, hardworking woman who had made many good friends over time at the nursing home where she worked. The elderly were grateful to her for their better days, while in return they gave her important life lessons about love and happiness with herself and her children.

Jane had applied for asylum because she believed that her and her children's lives were in danger if they returned to Kenya. However, her application was rejected, and Jane was appealing against this ruling at the time of her murder.

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Police Investigation
The detective immediately noticed that much more force was used than necessary to kill Jane. It was clear that the perpetrator had extreme anger towards the hardworking mother of three. According to the detective, Jane had seen the attack coming and found herself in a life struggle just before her death. This was different with the children, who were suspected to be unaware of the attack.

Although the two young boys ultimately survived the attack, according to police, the perpetrator did not intend to let them live. Simply because the boys might be able to identify the murderer. In the hospital where the boys ended up in critical condition, their room was guarded by uniformed personnel and undercover people. The police hoped that they could get information about the perpetrators, but unfortunately the boys knew nothing about the killer after they regained consciousness. It wasn't until much later that Jeremy said he could remember a man in an African shirt that spoke the Kenyan language. 

In a timeline sketch, it was suspected that the attack on the Kuria family had occurred approximately 30 hours before Diana and Pauline discovered the massacre. Police examined the victims' phone records and determined that Isabella had replied to an email just after midnight on July 31. A phone call to Jane at 3.30 had gone unanswered. According to this simple calculation, the perpetrator would have struck between midnight and 3 a.m.

The trace investigation had to show whether the perpetrator could be linked to footprints or DNA. There was an awful lot of blood in the house, and it was examined very carefully by the police. What was immediately noticeable was that there was only blood at the site of the attacks, and not between the attack sites. The perpetrator therefore walked from one murder to another without leaving any traces, something that the police found bizarre. No blood was found in the driveway, on the sidewalk or in the vicinity of the house. It was a mystery to the detectives how the perpetrator had managed to mask his own tracks in such a horror scene. After extensive investigation, no murder weapon, DNA, fingerprint or footprint of the killer could be found in the home. The police had to do it without any leads or clues.

What the detectives did use as a clue was that the killer probably knew Jane. There was no sign of forced entry, and the anger was too great for a stranger killing another stranger.

A neighborhood investigation could hopefully have provided leads. But here too the detectives were unlucky and had to conclude that no one in the neighborhood had heard or seen anything. The killer was 'lucky' to have committed the terrible murders at a time when everyone in the area was already sleeping. He had committed the attack unheard and unseen. 

Mungiki tribe
Yet a detective got a clue when he was outside the house after the murder, observing whether any interesting people would walk by. He was approached by an acquaintance of Jane's. Someone who sometimes did chores and helped her mow the lawn. The life of a single mother was hard enough. The person pointed out to the detective a possible involvement of the Mungiki tribe. This was previously a very violent sect from Kenya, responsible for a number of gruesome murders in Africa. This movement was investigated, but nothing indicated their involvement. Yes, they were very violent, but they had never gone far from 'home' to commit murder. And Georgia wasn't exactly next door to Kenya...

Person of interest
However, the man who gave the detective his tip about the Mungiki tribe that evening, quickly returned to the police's minds. Perhaps he knew more than he said on the street that night. Detectives delved into his bond with Jane, and soon discovered a number of curious things. It turned out that the two knew each other very well. He wasn't the handyman he said he was, checking in with the family every once in a while to mow the lawn. Jane's phone records showed that the two called each other every day. Not once a day, but an average of 12 times, every day, for at least a month. This involved no fewer than 300 phone calls back and forth. On the day of the murder, however, surprisingly there was no telephone contact between him and Jane. All this together raised the eyebrows of the police... They brought the man in for questioning.

The man was questioned by detectives and replied 'I don't know' to every question. He didn't know why he and Jane had called each other 12 times every day. He did not know why there had been no contact between the two on the day of the murder. He didn't know anything, but he didn't have a strong alibi. According to the man, his wife was at work and he had just been home alone.

Things got even more interesting when it turned out that Jane's cousin Diana had seen this man in Jane's presence before, and according to her, it didn't seem like their relationship was just friendly. In that case, it could be that Jane and the man were having a secret affair with each other. The man categorically denied this, but the suspicion persisted. If the two were indeed involved, multiple motives would be possible. Perhaps Jane had ended the relationship... There was even suspicion that the man was involved with Jane's daughter Annabelle, 16. If that was the case, and Jane had found out, the man's marriage and happy life were in serious jeopardy. the game. And so there was another possible motive, when detectives discovered a personal loan from Jane to him, of a large amount of money. All together there were many suspicious circumstances surrounding this man.

The man was found suspicious enough to collect a hair sample, DNA and fingerprint from him, but without forensic evidence at the crime scene, the police could not do much with it. With him denying everything. and without physical evidence, the police could not prove his involvement in the gruesome murders. To this day, more is needed to indict him if he were the perpetrator.

Further developments
A number of other striking discoveries were made after this. For example, Jane is said to have told family members that she would soon receive a large sum of money from 'the business' she entered. It was not a thousand, but rather tens of thousands of euros. Family members did not understand her sudden wealth as a single mother. In all likelihood, Jane was talking about the proceeds from the sale of a house. Apparently she had gone into real estate. Her niece Diana Maina still thinks the murders are related to a business gone wrong. 

Another notable discovery was a blood-stained towel found 2 miles from the crime scene. The day before the cloth was not there, but after the murder it was. The blood was tested for DNA and found not to come from Jane, her children, or the suspect. To this day, who it belonged to remains unknown.

According to detectives, it is quite possible that the murders were committed not by one, but by several people. That would explain that no traces could be found between the murders, and that the blood did not belong to the previous suspect but to an unknown person.

Information and Tips
The horror murders of Jane, Isabelle and Annabelle are still unsolved. The pain experienced by those left behind is unprecedented, and they still deal with it every day. We at really want to help put the perpetrators behind bars. No one has the right to take the life of a loving family. We therefore focus on you. Do you know more about these murders? Do you have a suspicion? Every detail can shed new light on the matter. Please let us know now. We handle your information confidentially and ensure that it reaches the right police team. Don't hesitate for a moment and get in touch - anonymously if necessary.

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