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Mississippi Nuns Found Dead at Home; Killer on the Run

Image: Mississippi Nuns Found Dead at Home; Killer on the Run

A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent takes a bag with evidence from the Durant, Miss., home of two slain Catholic nuns who worked as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, to her vehicle, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
 

By    |   Friday, 26 Aug 2016 01:43 PM

Two Mississippi nuns were found stabbed to death at their home in the Holmes County community of Durant Thursday morning in what authorities believe was a robbery gone wrong.

The bodies of Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held, both 68 and nurse practitioners, were taking to the state crime lab after they were discovered. Merrill worked for Kentucky-based Sisters of Charity of Nazareth while Held worked for the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

A vehicle missing from their home, a Toyota Corolla, was found later Thursday a mile from where the nuns were killed, Warren Strain, a Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman, told the newspaper.

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson reported, according to CNN, that the two nuns didn't show up at the Lexington Medical Clinic on Thursday morning, some 13 miles away. Clinic workers called authorities, who arrived at the residence they were staying and found evidence of a break-in.

No word on whether police have any persons of interest or suspects.

Dr. Elias Abboud, who worked with both nuns for years and helped build the Lexington Medical Clinic in Holmes County, told CBS News that he was not sure what will happen to the facility.

"I think the community is going to be different after this," Abboud told CBS News. "You need somebody with that passion to love the people and work in the underserved area. For somebody to come and do this horrible act, we are all shocked."

Abboud said the clinic provided about 25 percent of all the medical care in the rural county of about 18,000 people, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates, noted CBS News.

CNN stated that Merrill served as a nurse practitioner in Mississippi for more than 30 years and had worked with patients at the Lexington Medical Clinic since 2010, any of which were poor and uninsured.

Held moved to Mississippi in 1983 and then moved to Durant in 2003, officials told CNN.

"I think their absence is going to be felt for a long, long time. Holmes County, it's one of the poorest in the state," clinic manager Lisa Dew told CBS News. "There's a lot of people here who depended on them for their care and their medicines. It's going to be rough."

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Two Mississippi nuns were found stabbed to death at their home in the Holmes County community of Durant Thursday morning in what authorities believe was a robbery gone wrong.
mississippi, nuns, killed, suspect
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2016-43-26
Friday, 26 Aug 2016 01:43 PM
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