One of the two charred bodies discovered nearby the St. Peter Catholic Church in Covington, Louisiana, according to police, is that of Father Otis Young, Jr., a 70-year-old retired priest who was reported missing Sunday along with his 71-year-old caretaker and parish aide, Ruth Prats.
DNA confirmation will be required to positively identify the second body.
According to the St. Tammany Parish coroner, who was cited by NOLA.com, the priest died as a result of blunt and sharp force trauma. Both of the victims were found on Monday morning and were completely burnt.
Young, whose severe stroke during the pandemic left him largely paralyzed, admitted to having mobility issues in June to a local news station.
I try to keep my balance, so it’s quite stressful, he remarked. “One of the things I have to do is stand. I attend Mass as usual, and the deacons have been preaching frequently to give me time to sit down and recharge.
About four months ago, Young retired.
Antonio Tyson, 49, was detained by police in connection with the charred remains without providing a reason. Tyson has been charged with two charges of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, obstruction of justice, and illegal possession of a stolen vehicle. Tyson was recently freed from a 30-year jail term for rape.
It is unknown if the car, which Prats reported missing on Sunday, is that one.
According to local media reports, Young was under Prats’ full-time care after his stroke, and the two were unbreakable.
Young’s home parish of Tammany tweeted its sympathies on Tuesday and requested a prompt investigation.
As they look into this heinous act, “We support the Covington Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Office. Please join me in praying for the victim’s loved ones, the community of Covington, and the victims themselves.
Tyson was not connected to the church, according to St. Peter church.
The church posted a statement on its website saying, “We are deeply saddened, and ask that you join us in praying for Fr. Otis and Ruth, who is still listed as a missing person, as well as for their families.