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American priest found dead in Venezuela

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Esteban Woods was found dead Thursday in his house with several stab wounds
  • Woods, from Washington, served in the Catholic Church for more than 23 years
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(CNN) -- An American priest has been stabbed to death in Venezuela, authorities in that country said in a statement.

Esteban Woods, a 68-year-old priest from Vancouver, Washington, was found dead Thursday in his house with several apparent stab wounds, the statement said.

He served in the Catholic Church for more than 23 years and worked most recently at the Church of the Sacred Family in Puerto Ordaz, a city in the state of Bolivar, in eastern Venezuela, according to the statement from Venezuela's Public Ministry.

Authorities have assigned two prosecutors to investigate, it said.

Woods served as a parish priest in two parishes and as a chaplain at a teacher's college in Caracas, the statement said, according to preliminary information.