Priest disappears, person of interest ID'd

Posted at 3:02 PM, Apr 13, 2016

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities in northeast Florida say a 28-year-old man is a person of interest in an ongoing investigation into the disappearance of a 71-year-old Roman Catholic priest.

St. Johns County Sheriff's Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan says Father Rene Wayne Robert was last seen around 1 p.m. Sunday. His 2012 blue Toyota with a Florida Special Olympics license plate is also missing.

Mulligan says investigators want to talk with Steven James Murray, a Jacksonville man with a criminal background whom the senior priest with the Diocese of St. Augustine may have been counseling at the time of his disappearance.

Mulligan says deputies investigating the case spotted the priest's car late Tuesday night. A high-speed chase ensued, but the driver was able to elude authorities.