Two American missionaries were found dead on May 1 in rural Jamaica, and appeared to have been shot. The official cause of death will be disclosed after post-mortem reports come out.
The body of 53-year-old Harold Nichols was found in St. Mary Parish about 24 hours after the body of 48-year-old Randy Hentzel was found in bushes.
Hentzel and Nichols were reportedly on their way to check on the foundation of a house they were building for an impoverished family before they were murdered.
Hentzel's body was found at 2 PM near his motorcycle, but Nichols's body was recovered the next day at about 5 PM some distance away from where his co-worker's body was found, according to Jamaican Constabulary force. The police also found Nichols' motorcycle.
They were serving at Jamaica through a Pennsylvania-based religious organization called Teams for Medical Missions, and had been in the country since 2002.
Both of them were involved in discipleship training and extensive community work, according to the Teams website.
"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."
No arrests have been made as yet, and the police did not comment on any possible motives.
"Marks of violence were seen (on Nichols' body) ... . These persons are missionaries and they would have been in Jamaica for over 14 years doing a lot of humanitarian work. They were assisting people with houses and with a regular medical team that comes down from abroad," Dwight Powell, deputy superintendent of police, told The Gleaner.
"He spent all of his days building houses for people, taking people to the hospital, visiting the sick all the time," Nichols' wife was quoted as saying by the WKBW.
The United States Embassy in Kingston said it urged the local police to carry out a speedy investigation.
"We are saddened by the horrible deaths of the two American missionaries. They're not just visiting, but have been pillars of both communities for years," Joshua Polacheck, counselor for public affairs at the embassy. "The ambassador has been in contact with the highest levels of the Jamaican security apparatus, and we are hoping for a speedy resolution to this matter and that the killers are found and brought to justice."