Dad of missing priest suspect arrested

Steven James Murray (left) was arrested in Aiken, Bobby James Murray (right) was arrested in Jacksonville on charges not related to a missing priest.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The 53-year-old father of a man now in custody in connection with the disappearance of a St. Augustine priest was arrested Wednesday as the manhunt for his son was wrapping up hundreds of miles away, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.



Bobby James Murray was arrested on an August warrant for exposure of sexual organs at Stars Rest Inn at 510 Lane Ave., where he lived, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The arrest came as police said they were searching there for his 28-year-old son, Steven James Murray, in connection with the Rev. Rene Wayne Robert, who went missing this week. The motel was listed as a residence for Steven Murray on a recent traffic citation, according to court records.


The father’s arrest report states that he exposed himself at the motel’s pool as he sat in a chair. Witnesses said he moved his hand inside his pants for about 10 minutes as children were playing nearby, then exposed his private parts in full view of those in the pool. One of the witnesses ordered all of the children to leave the pool and contacted motel management, according to the arrest report.


Murray’s son was arrested late Wednesday night in Aiken after a police chase in Robert’s car and is awaiting extradition to Florida as the investigation into the missing priest continues, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said. Aiken is where the Murrays are from.


Bobby Murray was released from the Duval County jail Wednesday evening after pleading not guilty at his first court appearance and being ordered to stay clear of the motel pool and have no contact with victims, according to court records. He has an April 28 arraignment date scheduled.


The 71-year-old Robert remains missing. Authorities think he had been ministering to Steven Murray, who recently got out of jail.



Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

... Read more