A somber mood has engulfed Kipkorgot market in Eldoret following the brutal murder of young and promising athlete Richard Tirop and his friend.

The two who are believed to have  been killed by gangsters near Eldoret town were found along the Eldoret-Kaptagat road on Thursday morning.

Their mutilated bodies suffered multiple injuries likely inflicted with blunt objects.

Tirop was born in 1974 and had participated in several marathons in the United States. He was killed alongside his friend Martin Kimutai.

According to Partrick Too who saw the bodies it appears like the two were tortured severely before being killed.

Police said pieces of clothes were stuffed into one of the bodies.

Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno and top security officers in the county went to the scene to help coordinate investigations.

"This is terrible and unacceptable. We have asked police to quickly probe the killings," Chemno said,

Residents said at least six people have died under similar circumstances in the area in the last year.

They complained that the county has not installed street lights despite an increase in crime but Chemno said their concerns would be addressed.