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Former home missionary’s son found dead in Texas county

BELTON, Texas (BP)–Aaron Reynolds, the son of Southern Baptist pastor and former home missionary Mike Reynolds, was one of two former Mary-Hardin Baylor University students found dead Jan. 10 near Belton, Texas.

Four local men have been charged in the deaths, and additional arrests may be forthcoming, according to police.

Mike Reynolds is the pastor of Colonial Woods Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga. He also was a national missionary with the former Home Mission Board and served as director Utah Missions Inc., a Mormon-awareness ministry in Oklahoma which at that time was operated by the Home Mission Board.

Aaron Reynolds, 21, and the other student, Barney Jacob Henry, 20, had been missing for almost two weeks. They were killed at a residence in Belton, according to the local police department, which gave no further details on when the crime occurred or how they were slain, except to say, “Preliminary investigation indicates foul play.”

Police said the two victims were last seen by friends on Dec. 29 at a mall in Temple, Texas, where they both worked. Three days after their disappearance, on Jan. 1, Reynolds’ bloodstained car was found abandoned on a dirt road, according to an article in the Waco Tribune-Herald.

A break in the case came Tuesday evening, when Belton police began questioning one of the murder suspects about an unrelated burglary, Belton Police Chief Mike Sleeth told the newspaper.

After numerous interviews, the four suspects implicated each other in the killings, Sleeth said. Following the interviews, which went into the early morning hours, the suspects led authorities to the two bodies in two different counties.

All four suspects were acquaintances of both men, Sleeth said. He said the suspects were young adults. They were all charged with murder and taken to the Bell County Jail, where they were awaiting arraignment the evening of Jan. 10.

A statement from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor stated that the Baptist college community “is disturbed and saddened to hear of the deaths of Michael Aaron Reynolds and Barney Jacob Henry. Both of these young men were former students. They attended from fall 1998 until spring 2000. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends.”

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