Kosciusko man jailed on capital murder charges in slaying of 2 nuns

Rodney Earl Sanders
Rodney Earl Sanders

A Mississippi man faces two counts of capital murder in the slaying of two Catholic nuns in Durant, a small town in Holmes County.

Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, was arrested Friday, according to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Sanders is accused in the killing of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill.

According the Associated Press, the nuns were nurse practitioners who “dedicated their lives to providing health care to the people in the poorest county in the state.”

Held and Merrill were found dead at their home Thursday morning after they did not show up for work at the clinic, AP said, and their stolen car was found abandoned 1 mile away.

“Sanders was developed as a person of interest early on in the investigation,” Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Director Lt. Col. Jimmy Jordan said. “With the cooperation of the Durant and Kosciusko Police Departments, Holmes County Sheriff’s Department and the Attorney General Office this heinous crime has been resolved.”

Sanders is being held in an undisclosed jail and awaits an initial court appearance.