Two missionaries were murdered in Jamaica over the weekend after having worked together in the country since 2002. The missionaries murdered — Harold Nichols, 53, and Randy Hentzel, 48 — had been working in an impoverished community in Jamaica when their battered bodies were found on Sunday evening at approximately 5 p.m. The tragedy of the missionaries murdered in Jamaica while building a home for an impoverished community leaves not only two families bereft of fathers and husbands, but also a sense of fear in the community of missionaries working in Jamaica.
The bodies of murdered missionaries Hentzel and Nichols were found in the Parish of St. Mary in a poor, rural area of Jamaica on Sunday. Local police have said that no motive for the missionaries being murdered have been found, and no arrests have been made.
CNN reports that Nichols’ body was found by a team of searchers and cadaver dogs just over 24 hours after the body of his fellow missionary, Hentzel, was found in bushes beside a motorcycle he had been riding. The murdered missionaries are known to have set out on a motorcycle trip on Saturday morning along Jamaica’s northeastern shore to check on the progress on a home they were building nearby.
The missionaries murdered in Jamaica while building a home for an impoverished community were both affiliated with Pennsylvania-based Teams for Medical Missions. TMM’s ministry spokeswoman Anne Clay has issued a statement urging the public, its active missionaries, and the loved ones of the missionaries murdered in Jamaica to trust in the organization and its continuing evangelistic ministry in Jamaica.
“This is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before, so of course we’re devastated and grieving right now,” Clay told One News Now. “We did have a team that was scheduled to leave this Saturday and that has interrupted this one trip only, but we do travel to Jamaica once a quarter so every 90 days and our August team is planning to leave just on schedule.”
Clay’s words hopefully provide some assurance to any missionaries scheduled to travel to Jamaica, which has an extremely high rate of violent crime.
“The two victims were in Jamaica to do evangelism and Bible ministry, and they also constructed homes. According to the mission organization website, both Hentzel and Nichols and their wives have served in Jamaica since 2002 – Hentzel joining TEAMS in early 2010, and Nichols in the fall of 2004,” reports One News Now.
According to Jamaica Gleaner, police have called an emergency press conference in the wake of the missionaries murdered in Jamaica while building homes for an impoverished community, which will take place this afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
“The police have called an emergency press conference for this afternoon to update the nation on the investigations into the killing of two US missionaries in St Mary on the weekend. The press conference which is scheduled to start at 5.30 p.m will be hosted at the office of Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams in St Andrew,” reports Jamaica Gleaner.
Teams for Medical Missions’ Director, Ray Shive, told CNN that he also cannot discern a possible motive for the two missionaries having been murdered in Jamaica.
“We don’t understand any of what might have been the motive behind it at all,” said Shive. “It’s hard to imagine anyone in that area not knowing who they were.”
Hentzel has left behind his wife, Sara, and five children; Nichols is survived by his wife, Teri, also an employee of TMM.
The tragedy of these two missionaries murdered in Jamaica while building a home for an impoverished community is currently under investigation by investigators and law enforcement entities in Jamaica.
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