A memorial service will be held later this month for a former Lacombian allegedly murdered in Belize.
Brian Townsend, who died in Belize just before the New Year, will be remembered at a service in Lacombe on Jan. 19.
After moving to Belize to build the Valley of Peace Seventh-day Adventist High School, Townsend ended up staying after it was finished and had been living there for nearly 10 years.
On Dec. 25, Townsend went missing. Two days later, his remains turned up in a neighbouring country.
Troy McQueen, communications director for the Alberta Seventh-day Adventist Conference, said that Townsend had not been hired by the Seventh-day Adventist Church or sent by them as a missionary to work but he was certainly “mission-minded” and his work reflected that.
The date of Townsend’s death is unknown, but his remains were discovered on Dec. 27 by police in Guatemala, a neighbouring country of Belize.
Guatemalan police then provided photographs of the remains to their Belizean counterparts who confirmed the body was that of Townsend.
Townsend’s son, Kory, who traveled to Belize on Dec. 28 to search for his father also confirmed the remains were that of his father from looking at the photos.
Police believe Townsend was murdered after being abducted from his home. When discovered, Townsend’s body was still recognizable, but had large wounds that may have been made by a machete, they have said.
It is believed that Townsend was abducted from his Belizean home on Christmas Day. He was last heard from when he asked his cook to prepare dinner for him.
When she arrived at the house however, Townsend was gone.
Instead, she discovered that his vehicle was missing, the house had been vandalized and there was a trail of blood outside the house.
Police are working on tracking down two suspects in relation to the murder.
A memorial service for Townsend is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. at the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church (6915 Maple Dr.)