Priest: Slain nun believed in forgiving

| November 4, 2009

GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – FBI agents are sifting though new developments while trying to find the killer of a New Mexico nun murdered at her church on the Navajo Reservation.

Agents reported Sister Marguerite Bartz's missing car had been found abandoned at an undisclosed location in central Arizona.

Bartz's Honda CRV and the rest of the evidence will be brought to the FBI's crime lab in Albuquerque. The lab is one of the busiest in the nation with more than 80 percent of its work coming from crimes committed on tribal lands, according to the FBI.

The Evidence Response Team, essentially the FBI's crime-scene and forensics unit, will use high-tech tools to look for clues to the killer.

As the investigation continues church member who worked with Sister Marguerite said her death has stunned many in the religious community centered at the community of Navajo about 40 miles northwest of Gallup.

"I keep thinking of the brutality and the senselessness of it all," Father James Walker told KRQE News 13.

Walker worked with Sister Marguerite for more than a decade through the Diocese of Gallup. He oversaw her parish in Navajo where she was found dead Sunday morning after she failed to appear for Mass.

Investigators believe Bartz was killed sometime Halloween night on Saturday or Sunday morning. FBI Special Agent Darrin Jones told News 13 he could not disclose any details about how she died.

Walker said he wants Sister Marguerite's killer caught, not only to bring closure, but also so he can offer his forgiveness. That is something Sister Marguerite believed in deeply, he added.

"The sister's question would probably be, 'What brought someone to do something like this, and how can we address that?'" he said. "In that sense she would be a strong advocate for what is just."

Funeral arrangements for Sister Marguerite have been announced by the Diocese of Gallup beginning with a rosary at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Michael Indian School Student Chapel in St. Michaels, Ariz.

Mass will be celebrate at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup.

Tags: , ,

Category: Church Security

Comments are closed.