THE local Catholic Church was in mourning last night after the police found a decomposing body believed to be that of missing retired priest, Father Charles Brown.
The body was found on a “back road” off the Mandela Highway that leads to Plantation Heights in St Andrew, said Superintendent Delroy Hewitt, divisional commander for St Andrew South.
“We believe it’s him. The body is in an advanced state of decomposition so we can’t confirm his identity as yet,” said Hewitt. “But based on his central features — the clothes that he was wearing — we believe that it is him.”
Hewitt added that autopsy and forensic examinations will be carried out on the corpse to determine its true identity. Only then, he said, will investigators know for sure the cause of the priest’s death.
Police said that Brown, 71, was last seen on Wednesday wearing a multicoloured short-sleeve shirt, blue pants and a pair of black shoes. His vehicle was subsequently found on the same road which leads to Plantation Heights.
Yesterday, Hewitt said that two men have already been taken into custody in connection with Brown’s abduction, and that investigators were seeking a third individual.
“… At the moment they are just persons of interest [as] they have not been named as suspects as yet,” said Hewitt. “We have another person who we are definitely looking for. If he does not come in then we will have to pass on his information to the press.”
Father Brown, who was living at Villa Vianney — a facility operated by the church for retired priests — was last seen about 7:30 pm last Wednesday during a meeting at the Christ the Redeemer Human Resource Centre in Seaview Gardens.
“He was a very, very jovial person and very loud. We got along quite fine,” a woman who answered the phone at Villa Vianney told the Jamaica Observer last night. “We just have to pray.”
Over the weekend, officials of the Roman Catholic Church held a series of prayer meetings in 10 Catholic churches across the Corporate Area, Portland, and St Mary, for the retired priest’s safe return.
“With the passing of each day members of the church community continue to grow even more worried and will be praying and hoping for his safe return,” Father Donald Chambers, vicar of administration in the Archdiocese of Kingston, said on Friday.
Unfortunately they got the bad news yesterday that a decomposing body fitting the description of their loved one was found.