News/Current Events

GA Pastor Marita Harrell Fatally Stabbed + Set On Fire Allegedly By A Person She Was Mentoring

Evil has no limit and this is so heartbreaking.

A Georgia pastor was stabbed to death and set on fire, allegedly by someone she mentored.

Via Madame Noire:

DeKalb County authorities in Georgia have arrested a former inmate now connected to the death of 57-year-old Rev. Martia Harrell.

The man, 27-year-old Christopher Griggs, allegedly stabbed Harrell at his home last week. The senior pastor was reportedly visiting Griggs there and mentoring him as part of her work for a local church. 

Authorities believe Griggs then put Harrell’s remains in a van and drove it to a remote location, where he set the vehicle on fire, according to PEOPLE.

Griggs is charged with one count of malice murder and one of first-degree arson. He appeared in court via a virtual hearing on May 21.

The former inmates’ history with the law includes charges of impersonating a police officer and sexual assault. He’s currently in police custody at Dekalb County Jail.

Harrell’s husband Antonio and eldest daughter Marae became concerned about the pastor’s whereabouts when the latter didn’t return home from being with Griggs on Wednesday evening.

“That was a point of contention between the two of us, between all of us, especially with this gentleman because he called two weeks ago,” Antonio said of the family’s concerns regarding some of the people his wife mentored, particularly Griggs. “She told me, ‘Antonio, God has placed these people in my life, I cannot turn away from them.’” 

Antonio and Marae tragically found Harrell’s remains after tracking the reverend’s phone last Wednesday.

Newsweek reports Griggs “turned” on the pastor and attacked her with a large kitchen knife before burning her, according to police. He was attempting to destroy evidence. 

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church said: “I am broken-hearted since being informed of the death of Rev. Marita Harrell. It is a blow to our clergy family, especially since it appears she died at the hand of one she was helping. Marita was a friend and a shining light among us. I pray for her family, her church, and all who loved her. I am grateful that the Lord she represented so well was with her in all things and accompanied her to her eternal home. May His Spirit comfort those of us who remain.”

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