Brian Townsend

Missionary was victim of brutal murder in Belize

A missionary brutally murdered in Central America had close ties to Lacombe’s Seventh-day Adventist community and is remembered for his caring nature.

A missionary brutally murdered in Central America had close ties to Lacombe’s Seventh-day Adventist community and is remembered for his caring nature.

Brian Townsend, 64, lived in Belize, where he helped with Lacombe-based A Better World’s charitable dental program, among other charitable works.

“I knew him very well. Brian had a great heart,” said Eric Rajah, co-founder of A Better World and longtime friend of Townsend’s. They taught at the Lacombe Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Sabbath school for several years in the early 1990s and Rajah’s wife taught two of Townsend’s children.

“You could always ask him to help when you needed it.”

Townsend lived in Lacombe from the late 1980s and ran a landscaping business. He got involved with the Lacombe Heights Seventh-day Adventist church’s charitable programs, making numerous trips to Belize.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official news service says Townsend moved to Belize to build a high school, and stayed after it was finished.

Rajah believes the missionary lived in Edmonton for a time before deciding to move to Belize. He had been there about nine years.

Rajah said Townsend has two sons and a daughter, now grown. One of the sons, Kory, from Edmonton, who had travelled to Central America last week to search for his father, identified his body from photographs.

Local police believe Brian was abducted from his home on Christmas Eve. A body was found three days later in Guatemala, 15 minutes from the border. It was identified as Townsend’s several days later.

Investigators say there was an altercation in his home and he was abducted and robbed of clothing, a laptop and his Chevy Silverado truck, which remains missing. He suffered from wounds, possibly caused by machetes.

Rajah said Townsend was helping co-ordinate a planned May trip headed by Sylvan Lake dentist Kelvin Hill to provide dental care to Belize residents.

Rajah said they have not yet decided if that trip will still go ahead or will be delayed. Townsend was a key contact with local representatives and co-ordinated logistics on the ground.

Townsend’s family has set up a Facebook page under “Brian Townsend” asking that friends share stories and photos of him and celebrate his life.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Off-highway vehicles recovered on Sunchild

Rocky Mountain House RCMP notifying owners

Alberta’s status of women minister joins Twitter debate over women’s marches

EDMONTON — A minister in Alberta’s NDP government has chastised a tweet… Continue reading

Canada faces angry Americans in pivotal sixth round of NAFTA talks

Canada will be hosting an annoyed and angry United States as the… Continue reading

Arts and Craft (Beer) evening set for Feb. 3

Raising money for Red Deer Arts Council

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month