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Two Catholic nuns discovered slain in rural Mississippi home, police say

Two Catholic nuns were found slain in a rural Mississippi home Thursday, authorities said. Their bodies were discovered by a Durant police officer performing a wellness check after the nuns did not show up for work, Durant's Assistant Police Chie...

Two Catholic nuns were found slain in a rural Mississippi home Thursday, authorities said.

Their bodies were discovered by a Durant police officer performing a wellness check after the nuns did not show up for work, Durant's Assistant Police Chief James Lee told The Washington Post.

Durant is a town in rural Mississippi, about 60 miles north of Jackson.

Lee said police did not yet have a motive and did not give details about how the nuns died.

"We are in the process of working the crime scene as we speak," he told The Post.

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Maureen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, told the Associated Press that there were signs of a break-in at the home and that the nuns' vehicle was missing.

Both women were nurse practitioners, according to the AP, and lived together in the home where their bodies were found.

They worked with the Lexington Medical Clinic, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

"These were the two sweetest sisters you could imagine," the Rev. Greg Plata, who worked with the women, told the newspaper. "It's so senseless."

The newspaper identified the slain nuns as Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held. It also reported that the nuns distributed books, school supplies and other items to the needy, according to church officials.

The AP reported one nun is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, while the other is part of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee.

 

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