Kidnapped Catholic Father found dead in forest

Father Cyriacus Onunkwo
Father Cyriacus Onunkwo

Body of a Catholic priest, Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, who was abducted on Friday, has been found in a forest in Imo State. The state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, confirmed the ugly incident yesterday. Onunkwo was said to have been abducted from his vehicle at Orlu, a town in the state, about 7p.m. on Friday.

The priest, who hailed from Osina in Ideato North Local Government Area of the state, had been on a priestly mission but came home to prepare for the burial of his father, who died last week. Gunmen abducted him at Nkwoito junction at Amaifeke area of Orlu.

His body was discovered in the bush at Omuma village in Oru East Local Government Area on Saturday. Authorities of the Catholic diocese in Orlu confirmed that the body was that of the priest.

The police said they were working on the theory that the priest might have been strangled as his body had no gunshot or stab wounds from preliminary examinations. His car was also discovered intact, with nothing removed from it, fuelling speculation that his assailants were hired to kill him.

The police said that while investigations continued to unmask his killers, no arrest had been made in connection with the killing.