Foul play suspected in Memphis minister's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Foul play suspected in Memphis minister's death

You can't see the foul odor coming from apartment 206 in the James Bridge Apartments.  But you can smell it.

"Oh, yes," said neighbor Alicia Benson.

Benson has smelled it since Saturday.

"I thought maybe that it was the garbage disposal," she said.

She never imagined it was her downstairs neighbor lying dead on his living room floor.

"What?" asked Benson.  "And I didn't hear anything?" she added.

She and others watched Tuesday afternoon as crime scene technicians moved in.  They spend hours processing the apartment and stuffing evidence into large paper sacks.

Most of the victim's family are too upset to talk.  They do identify him as Reverend Ronald Paige.  They say he pastors The Church of God in Christ in Earle, Arkansas.

"We have no information right now," said brother in law Carl Williams.

Like the media, the family also awaits further word on how Paige spent the last moments of his life.

"The family is deeply hurt," said Williams.  "We don't know all the details about everything right now -- I'm sure it will all come out after while," he adds

Neighbors describe Paige as a friendly man who kept to himself.

"He didn't have a problem with no one over here in this section," said Carol Allen.

She says he occassionally took in people who were down on their luck.

"Looked like he was pretty much a church going guy," said Benson.

Paige may have been a pastor whose kindness caught up with him.

The fact that Rev. Paige may have housed homeless people is, no doubt, a big part of this investigation.  The medical examiner could know exactly how he died as soon as Wednesday.


Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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