.- An elderly Catholic priest was found dead at home in a small eastern Venezuelan town Thursday morning. While some reports claim the priest was a victim of a robbery, authorities are still investigating the crime.
Fr. Esteban Woods, a native of Vancouver, Washington had served the Catholic Church in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela for nearly half his life.
Local media reports that parishioners first knew something was wrong when the elderly priest didn’t go out for his 5 a .m. jog. When he wasn't available to open the doors of the church that morning, locals went to his house where they found his body. The missionary priest had been gagged and stabbed multiple times.
The Bishop of Ciudad Guayana Mariano Parra, commented on the tragedy saying that the murder of Fr. Woods is a “sign of the violence” that is being experienced throughout Venezuela.