ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The St. Johns Sheriff's Office confirms that the body of a missing Florida priest has been found in Georgia. A large-scale search of a rural area in northeast Florida had been called off earlier in the day for Father Rene Wayne Robert, leading to speculation that there were new developments in the case.
The St. Augustine-based priest disappeared last week, and his body was found on Monday south of Augusta, the Sheriff's Office announced during a news conference. It is not yet clear how Robert died.
Police arrested 28-year-old Steven James Murray after he was found driving Robert's car in South Carolina. Authorities think Robert had been ministering to Murray. According to the Sheriff's Office, Murray told investigators where to find the body.
Robert, 71, was a senior priest and a Franciscan, known in St. Augustine for helping the poor, drug addicted and disabled. His brother and sister had come to Florida from New York to aid in the search and attended a prayer vigil for him on Saturday.