American Missionaries Found Brutally Murdered in Jamaica

"Harold Nichols and Randy Hentzel, two of our missionaries in Jamaica were murdered."

“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,” said Polacheck. “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.”

 

At about noon on Saturday, shocked residents of the Boscobel, St. Mary community on the Caribbean island of Jamaica stumbled upon the bound and lifeless body of missionary Randy Hentzel, 48.

On Sunday, at about 4 p.m., they found the body of Hentzel’s colleague, missionary Harold Nichols, 53. His head was reportedly bashed in.

The last time anyone saw them alive, according to the Jamaica Observer, was on Saturday morning when the two men, who worked as missionaries for Pennsylvania-based TEAMS for Medical Missions, were heading out on a trail in the Albion Mountain area of the island. Police say they rented motorcycles in Ocho Rios prior to the fateful trip.

Nichols’ wife, Teri, who has been living on the island with her husband, told RJR News that he left to visit the work site for a house he planned to build for a woman in a week. Hentzel tagged along, she said, to check on a woman in his Bible college.

“He’s building a house for a woman in a week. And he went to check to see if the foundation was finished and to check on the woman it was being built for,” said the grieving widow. “I believe Randy wanted to take care of somebody that was in his Bible college who was in dire need of a house. They were gonna go look at her situation yesterday (Saturday) morning. They went and they just never came back.”

Fellow missionary Merlin Pratt backed up Teri’s story in a reaction on Facebook.

“Tragic News from Jamaica. Our beloved friend and fellow missionary Harold Nichols and fellow Missionary from Teams for Medical Missions, Randy Hentzel, were murdered yesterday in the mountains of St. Mary Parish. They were on their way to check on the foundation of a house soon to be built for Jamaica’s poorest of the poor,” Pratt wrote. “Please pray for Harold’s wife, Teri Marie Nichols, and Randy’s wife, Sarah, and three children. Harold and Randy were both great men of God who just loved Jamaica, her people and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Peace of Christ surround the families, the communities and the church. We are thankful that other missionaries are nearby and offering what then can in this awful time.”

Deputy Superintendent of Police Dwight Powell told the Observer that Hentzel’s body was discovered face down with his hands tied with a piece of cloth they think was ripped from his shirt. One of the rented motorcycles was found beside his body. The second motorcycle was found about 60 meters away from Hentzel’s body. But Nichols was missing.

With the help of some 70 residents and search dogs, police launched a frantic and somewhat hopeful hunt for the beloved missionary at about 7 a.m. on Sunday morning but their hopes were dashed when they discovered Nichols’ battered body several hours later.

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