Pastor Killed, Buried Fiancee's Daughter: Cops

John White charged in possible sex-crime murder

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 2, 2012 2:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A pastor in central Michigan beat and strangled his fiancee's daughter before burying her in the woods—and then asked church members to pray for his victim, according to police and a friend. John White may have also sexually molested 24-year-old Rebekah Gay in her trailer, but he's not sure whether he fulfilled his fantasy of having sex with her corpse. "We are all absolutely floored," says Donna Houghton, who helped hire White at their tiny Christ Community Fellowship church.

The church knew he was an ex-convict—guilty of killing one woman and attacking another—but "he was absolutely contrite," says Houghton. She steadfastly believed White when he called, protesting his innocence and asking fellow congregants to pray for Gay when she went missing, the AP reports. But he eventually confessed and "had no leg to stand on," she says. "He was doing a lot of good in the community. ... He was doing a lot of good and Satan did not want him doing good, and Satan got to him."

In this undated photo provided by the Isabella County, Mich., Sheriffs Department, Rebekah Gay is shown.
In this undated photo provided by the Isabella County, Mich., Sheriffs Department, Rebekah Gay is shown.   (AP Photo/Isabella County Sheriffs Department)
This booking photo provided by the Isabella County Sheriff's Department shows John D. White.
This booking photo provided by the Isabella County Sheriff's Department shows John D. White.   (AP Photo/Isabella County Sheriff's Department)
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