A WOMAN and her mother are dead after a knifing incident at Namuana Village in Kadavu on Sunday.
The suspect is alleged to have knifed his 37-year-old wife and her 60-year-old mother following a family dispute.
As police continued investigations into the double homicide, a Namuana villager, who wished to remain anonymous, told this newspaper the suspect also attacked one of his wife's two teenage nephews who reside with them in a house they were renting in at the village.
He said the horrendous act was committed while the couple's six-year-old adopted daughter stood crying and watching her father attack members of their family. Speaking in the iTaukei language, the man said the incident happened while villagers were attending the 10am church service.
He said the house was located in an isolated area and no one knew a knifing incident had taken place until the women were found lying on the road by villagers who were going to church that morning.
The couple's daughter is now in the care of Social Welfare Department workers who have been staying in a house located close to the crime scene.
Another woman, who did not wish to be named, said the man became furious after his mother-in-law tried to lodge a police complaint against him for slapping a 16-year-old boy, who is admitted at the Vunisea Hospital for wounds sustained during the knifing incident.
She said the family had only moved to Kadavu last year from Suva to manage the suspect's brother's business, which provided accommodation to visitors to Vunisea and nearby areas. She added he was asked to find another place to stay in after a downturn in business.
"But because the children were already in school, they could not just leave to return to Suva, so they found that house in Namuana and have been renting there for four or five months now," she said.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said investigations were continuing.