Suspect arrested in murders of nuns in Mississippi

Robbery believed to be the motive
Posted at 7:49 AM, Aug 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-27 19:55:31-04
MILWAUKEE -- A man is behind bars in Mississippi in connection with the killing two 68-year-old nuns this week, one with ties to Wisconsin.
Authorities say they arrested Rodney Earl Sanders Friday night and charged him with two counts of capital murder.
Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill were found stabbed to death Thursday.
Officials say robbery is thought to be the motive in the crime.
Their bodies were discovered Thursday after they failed to show up for work at a clinic in Lexington, Mississippi, about 10 miles from where they lived.
Lt. Colonel Jimmy Jordan says "Sanders was developed as a person of interest early on in the investigation."
Sanders is being held in an undisclosed detention center awaiting his initial court appearance.
Held was originally from Slinger, and worked at Sisters of Saint Francis in Milwaukee for 49 years.

Officials with the School Sisters of St. Francis issued the following statement on the arrest.

We wish to offer our deepest appreciation to the Mississippi state and local law enforcement teams and to the many other public servants who have worked tirelessly the past two days, under extremely difficult circumstances, to investigate the sisters’ deaths and gather evidence. They have been unfailingly kind and courteous to our congregation as they have kept us informed of their progress. We are most grateful for the care, consideration, and dedication with which they have carried out their work.

We also wish to thank the hundreds of people and organizations who offered their prayers and words of support in the wake of the sisters’ deaths. Your kindness is deeply appreciated by the School Sisters of St. Francis at this tremendously difficult time.