The Jamaica Constabulary Force revealed that multiple US agencies including FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration will be assisting in the investigation of the murders of American missionaries Randy Hentzel and Harold Nichols, whose bodies were recovered in a rural Jamaican province this past weekend.
"Yesterday, I called the United States ambassador to Jamaica to update him on the investigation and to assure him that we are doing everything possible to identify the criminals responsible for these brutal acts," said Police Commissioner Dr. Carl Williams of JCF.
Both Hentzel and Nichols worked with a Pennsylvania-based Christian organization called TEAMS for Medical Missions, and had set off on their motorbikes to check on a site where they were constructing a house for a poor family.
The Jamaican Observer reported that autopsies on the bodies had been completed, and it was found that Hentzel died of a gunshot wound, but Nichols' body had both gunshot and chop wounds.
JCF spokeswoman Dahlia Garrick told WFMZ-TV that "one of them, Harold (Nichols), had a wound to the head. Randy (Hentzel), when he was found, had blood coming from his mouth."
"It's something no one would have thought would have happened," Garrick said. "There was nothing to indicate anyone wanted to do them harm. They are highly respected people within the community."
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited Nichols' wife Teri, and prayed for the grieving family.
He said: "There are no words that can give any comfort for the loss of a loved one, especially under such tragic circumstances. It's always such a terrible thing, but the strength and true Christian spirit of forgiveness displayed here - the people of Jamaica want you to know what has happened here doesn't represent them."
"They, like you, want to see justice. This issue of crime is affecting everyone everywhere, and from what I've seen from the outpouring of the community, they do support you," he added.
Nichols' wife told The Gleaner she felt sorry for the murderers.
"Personally, I don't feel angry. Maybe there's a stage where, at some point, I'm going to be ticked off, but I feel sad for whoever committed this terrible crime. They don't know what they were doing or who they were doing it to."
She hoped that her husband's life and his death was used by God, to bring more people to him.
"I know God works all things to the good, and that Harold's life will never be defined by its last 15 minutes. God had a purpose in his life and I just feel good things are going to come out of this," she said. "I believe with all my heart that people are going to come to the Lord because of this, and I think it's going to have a huge impact, which is already happening, so it's not in vain."
"Missionaries have played a vital role in our national development. Many have made Jamaica their second home and through their selfless service have demonstrated a real love for our people. Randy Hentzel and Harold Nichols dedicated themselves to the people of St. Mary and Jamaica," Holness stated on his Facebook page.
"Their murders have had a painful impact on the community as the people mourn their tragic passing. I traveled to St Mary...and I assured both families that the government will work with the police to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished," the prime minister said.