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Popular Catholic priest found dead in Calif. church rectory

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Beloved and popular priest, Rev. Eric Freed, was found dead in the rectory of his Eureka, Calif. church on Jan. 1, 2014, prompting a homicide investigation, according to ABC News.

Eureka Mayor Frank Jager told the Times-Standard that Freed was found in the St. Bernard Church after he failed to appear at morning mass.

CNN reports the body was found at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to ABC, Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills confirmed a murder investigation was underway, but would not reveal the name of the victim.

He said the murder took place sometime after church parishioners left evening services on Dec. 31, according to Fox News.

Mills told CNN there were no suspects in the case.

Stephen Cunha, the chairman of Humboldt University’s religious studies department where Freed taught for over a decade, told CNN, “He was a really genuinely warm individual… Kind is the word that comes to mind, sensitive.”

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