Saturday, January 4, 2014

Missing Adventist missionary found dead in Guatemala

The body of Brian Townsend, a missing Seventh-day Adventist missionary, has been found in Guatemala, according to The Toronto Star.


Townsend, 64, had been missing in Belize since Christmas Eve, according to the newspaper.


Townsend's neighbor and cook said she saw Townsend's truck heading out of town with a "mattress and a rolled-up rug," according to an article by Adventist Review. The cook said she discovered Townsend's truck was missing and his apartment looted the following morning.


Two machetes and blood were found about fifty feet from Townsend's home, reported Adventist Review.


According to CBC News, local police say Townsend was killed and have two male suspects, whom they currently searching for.


The Canadian missionary had been living and working in Valley of Peace, Belize for nine years. He had moved from Canada to Belize to build a high school and church, and ended up staying there after the construction was finished, according to Adventist Review.


Brian Townsend's son, Kory, traveled to Belize to help with the search for his father. Kory and family members created a Facebook page, keeping it updated with details on the search.


"Grief may push people away from God but my hope is that we will all draw close to God at this time so we can all join Brian in heaven and once again celebrate together," wrote Ian Lund, a family member.


"We have celebrated what Brian has been able to do in Belize and the difference he has made in the community of the Valley of Peace," Lund continued. "I challenge each one of you to do the same, make a difference, be that close to home or far away. Know however, that you already have made a difference in your support of us."


You can read more about the search efforts and about Brian Townsends life on Facebook and at Adventist Review.

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