RELIGION

The Latest: 2 nuns slain in Mississippi, details unclear

Sam Sample, a parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Lexington, Miss., background, paces while other church members and neighbors watch investigators at the house in the background where two nuns who worked as nurses lived in Durant, Miss., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The nuns were found slain in their home, and there were signs of a break-in and their vehicle was missing, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Sam Sample, a parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Lexington, Miss., background, paces while other church members and neighbors watch investigators at the house in the background where two nuns who worked as nurses lived in Durant, Miss., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The nuns were found slain in their home, and there were signs of a break-in and their vehicle was missing, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the slayings of two Catholic nuns in Mississippi (all times local):

4:05 p.m.

Authorities say it's too early to say how two Catholic nuns were killed in rural Mississippi.

Police say the bodies of the nuns, who had worked as nurse practitioners helping the poor, were found in their home in the Delta town of Durant.

Maureen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, said there were signs of a break-in at the nuns' home and their vehicle is missing.

Durant Assistant Police Chief James Lee says it doesn't appear the two were shot.

Authorities didn't immediately release a motive and it wasn't clear if the nuns' religious work had anything to do with the slayings.

Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard identified the nuns as Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill. Their bodies were taken to a state crime lab for autopsies.

She said the sisters worked at a medical clinic about 10 miles from their home in Durant.

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2:35 p.m.

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.