RELIGION

2 nuns found slain in Mississippi home; motive unclear

  • This undated photo provided by Sisters of Charity of Nazareth shows Sister Paula Merrill. Sister Margaret Held and Merrill, two nuns who worked as nurses and helped the poor in rural Mississippi, were found slain in their home and there were signs of a break-in and their vehicle was missing, officials said Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth via AP)

    This undated photo provided by Sisters of Charity of Nazareth shows Sister Paula Merrill. Sister Margaret Held and Merrill, two nuns who worked as nurses and helped the poor in rural Mississippi, were found slain in their home and there were signs of a break-in and their vehicle was missing, officials said Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent takes a bag with evidence from the Durant, Miss., home of two slain Catholic nuns who worked as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, to his vehicle, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The clinic office manager and a Durant police officer discovered their bodies inside the house after both nuns did not report for work. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

    A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent takes a bag with evidence from the Durant, Miss., home of two slain Catholic nuns who worked as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, to his vehicle, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The clinic office manager and a Durant police officer discovered their bodies inside the house after both nuns did not report for work. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jonell Payton, right, comforts Lisa Dew, outside the Durant, Miss., home of two slain Catholic nuns, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The nuns worked as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, where Dew was the office manager. Dew and a Durant police officer discovered their bodies inside the house after both nuns did not report for work. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

    Jonell Payton, right, comforts Lisa Dew, outside the Durant, Miss., home of two slain Catholic nuns, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The nuns worked as nurses at the Lexington Medical Clinic, where Dew was the office manager. Dew and a Durant police officer discovered their bodies inside the house after both nuns did not report for work. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities say two Catholic nuns have been found slain in a Mississippi home where they lived.

Durant Assistant Police Chief James Lee said Thursday that an officer found them when they didn't report to work as normal.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says it appears the nuns were homicide victims. He didn't release a motive and it wasn't clear if their religious work had anything to do with the slayings.

The assistant police chief says it's too early to say how the nuns died, but it appears they were not shot. Lee says both nuns are nurse practitioners.

One is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky. The other is part of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee.