Authorities are searching for those responsible for the baffling slayings of two American missionaries in Jamaica over the weekend.
The body of Harold Nichols, 53, was found about 5 p.m. Sunday in St. Mary Parish by a team of searchers and cadaver dogs, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He was discovered slightly more than 24 hours after the body of his fellow missionary, 48-year-old Randy Hentzel, was found in some bushes near a motorcycle he was riding.
The two men had served in Jamaica for years with TEAMS for Medical Missions, a small, Pennsylvania-based Christian charity that seeks to provide medical care and spiritual comfort to the people of the Caribbean island nation.
“We don’t understand any of what might have been the motive behind it at all,” said Teams for Medical Missions Director Ray Shive. “It’s hard to imagine anyone in that area not knowing who they were.”
The pair had set out Saturday morning on a motorcycle trip along the island’s northeastern shore to check on a site where they were building a home for a local family in an impoverished area, Shive told CNN by phone from his home near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Authorities said both motorcycles have been recovered.
A press release by the Jamaica Constabulary offered no further details about the manner of death, arrests or a possible motive. Calls to Jamaican investigators were not immediately returned to CNN.
Both Nichols and Hentzel had been doing missionary work in Jamaica since 2002, according to the Teams for Medical Missions website.
Hentzel is survived by his wife, Sara, and five children, including three who are school age, according to Shive.
Nichols is survived by his wife,Teri, a coordinator at the mission’s clinic in Jamaica. The couple had planned to return to the United States for a two-month furlough beginning in mid-August, according to a post on the mission’s website.
A post Saturday morning on Teri Nichols’ Facebook page shows the couple wearing backpacks and smiling.
While the island of Jamaica has long struggled with violent crime, neither of the men ever mentioned that they were scared for their safety, according to Shive.
As for whoever was responsible for the killings, Shive said, “We are asking for justice … and that they receive justice for what they’ve done.”