HOLMES COUNTY, Miss. (UPI) — Authorities are investigating the homicides of two Catholic nuns at their home in Mississippi, police said Thursday.
The women were found brutally stabbed, investigators said. They were identified as Sister Paula Merrill, a nurse practitioner in Kentucky, and Sister Margaret Held, a practitioner in Milwaukee.
The Clarion-Ledger reported Thursday that the nuns helped treat thousands of patients a year at the nearby Lexington Medical Clinic in Holmes County.
“These were the two sweetest sisters you could imagine,” Rev. Greg Plata said. “It’s so senseless.”
The nuns lived in the town of Durant, located about 65 miles northeast of Jackson.
Police said they are looking at a possible motive of robbery. The killer has not yet been caught.
“These sisters have spent years of dedicated service here in Mississippi. They absolutely loved the people in their community,” Bishop Joseph Kopacz, of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, said. “We mourn with the people of Lexington and Durant and we pray for the Sisters of Charity, the School Sisters of St. Francis and the families left behind.”