Homicide investigation underway for two slain nuns in Holmes County

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DURANT, Miss. (WJTV) – Authorities say two Catholic nuns were found dead in a Mississippi home where they lived.

WJTV talked to Durant’s police chief about the investigation. The chief said the women had stab wounds.

One is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky. The other is part of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee.

Sisters of Charity identified the victims as Paula Merrill and Margaret Held. Merrill was a member of Sisters of Charity.

They posted a statement on their website about the murders.

The nuns were found by authorities during a welfare check after they didn’t show up for work.

Neighbors tell WJTV the women’s car was stolen, but authorities have not confirmed this information.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says it appears the nuns were homicide victims.

Sisters of Charity is asking for prayers for both families.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann issued a statement about their deaths:

Lynn and I grieve the loss of Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held, who were found violently killed in their home in Durant, Mississippi, this morning.  Unbridled love and care for mankind has been met with unparalleled savagery.  These faithful nuns worked tirelessly at the Lexington Medical Clinic to make the Holmes County community and Mississippi a better place to live.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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