A man on Wednesday allegedly killed his wife and set her body on fire after a suspected domestic quarrel in Karatina town, Nyeri County.

The body of Grace Nyambura, a mother of two, was found lying on a bed with beddings partially burnt in a single-roomed rental house at Jamaica estate at around 4.30 pm.

Area residents said they were drawn to the scene by smoke from the room and upon breaking the door which was locked from outside, they found the body of the woman and the bed on fire.

They called firefighters from Karatina who arrived in time and put out the fire.

The woman’s body had a fresh stab wound on the head and some blood-stained clothes and bedding were strewn around the room.

The assailant was identified by the police as Simon Nderitu. He is said to have fled the scene and a manhunt promptly launched.

The couple’s landlady Ms Esther Nyambura Wachira, said the pair rented the room two months ago.

Neighbours claimed the couple had constant quarrels that usually led to fights.

“On Tuesday the grandmother of the two children came and took them away. We suspect she wanted to take them to a safe place following the bad blood between the husband and wife it’s unfortunate it has ended this way,” a visibly shaken neighbour who asked not to be named told Nation.

Mathira East Police Boss James Barasa and Chief Detective Jackson Muriuki are leading investigations into the murder.