(CNN) — A beloved Roman Catholic priest was found dead Wednesday in his church\’s rectory, spurring police to launch a murder investigation and those he touched to try to make sense of his sudden passing.
Eureka, California, Police Chief Andy Mills said officers — responding to a call from staff at St. Bernard Church — first came across the victim around 9 a.m. Wednesday. He did not elaborate on how the death occurred, adding Wednesday night that there were no suspects.
Mayor Frank Jager identified the victim as the Rev. Eric Freed, whom he called a personal friend and a \”tremendous person in this community\” since his arrival three years ago. The St. Bernard Parish website featured a cross and the words, \”Rest in Peace,\” above Freed\’s name.