Suspect Arrested in Louisiana Priest’s Death

Florida detectives have arrested a man on Tuesday who is believed to have had connection with the murder of a priest in Mississippi.

Jeremy Manieri, 31, has been wanted by Waveland, Mississippi, police for the death of Rev. Edward Everitt on Sunday.

“Mr. Manieri was one of the last people … that we know of to see Father Everitt,” Waveland Police Chief James Varnell said. “We believe that his motive is robbery.”

70-year-old Edward Everitt was found dead on Monday at the Dominican Retreat house in Waveland, says Varnell.

“This tragic loss of Father Ed’s life leaves a deeply felt void in all our lives,” Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge said.

Everitt was apparently spending a few days vacation at the Waveland house which was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina.

Everitt and Manieri met two weeks before the death ever occured. Everitt was planning on hiring Manieri to do a construction project at the Waveland house.

Judd reported that police had gotten a “very detailed confession” from Manieri while he was arrested.

Manieri and Everitt had an argument on Sunday at the Waveland house when Manieri found a firearm and shot Everitt twice, he described during his confession. Manieri then took Everitt’s wallet and his 2011 silver GMC HHR and called his ex-wife.

Manieri told his ex-wife that he was working on an oil rig and was going to take her, her son, and his daughter to Disney World in Florida once he got his first paycheck. The family left Sunday night after the murder and stopped in Mobile, Alabama, for a night.

Manieri and his family arrived an hour away from Orlando at Polk County early Tuesday and stopped at a Days Inn.

The family was planning to buy three-day passes to Disney World that day, but police tracked down the stolen vehicle and showed him as 20 minutes away according to their GPS tracking system.

The Polk County SWAT team arrested Manieri around 4:30 a.m.

“Quite frankly, he left a trail of evidence that a blind man could’ve followed,” said Judd.

Varnell said Manieri has had a long history with the police, including charges of a child molestation in which he was convicted a year later in 2006.

Manieri was put in the Polk County Jail for Tuesday night while Waveland police took him on Wednesday.

“Fr. Ed was a man of great energy, both preaching and caring for others,” said a statement from the Southern Dominican Province. “(He) will be profoundly missed by his blood family, his Dominican family and all whom he has served as a Dominican and priest over his many years of ministry.”

Suspect Arrested in Shooting of Priest

A suspect was apparently arrested in Florida for the shooting of a Catholic priest in Louisiana whose body was found in Mississippi.

Waveland Police Chief James Varnell says Jeremy Wayne Manieri was arrested at around 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
The victim was identified as Rev. Edward E. Everitt. He was a 70-year-old pastor at Holy Ghost and Our Lady of Pompeii churches. The church is run by the Dominican Order who also operates a school 50 miles away in New Orleans.

Everitt’s body was found around 4:30 p.m. on Monday by a caretaker of a house in Waveland, which is 40 miles east of New Orleans.

“When she entered she found the man on the couch in the front room and he was bleeding from the mouth so she backed out and called the police. Most probably the bullet wound was in the head,” said Varnell.

Police are still searching for a motive.

Everitt’s vehicle was missing, although the house “didn’t appear” to be “broken into”, says Varnell.

Authorities in Polk County didn’t respond to requests for information immediately.

Bishop Robert Muench explained Everitt as a revered pastor who will be greatly missed.

“This tragic loss of Father Ed’s life leaves a deeply-felt void in all our lives,” said Muench in a statement. “Together we pray to the Author of all life to provide Father Ed with the peace of eternal life. May our grief be seen in that perspective as we thank God for his valued life and priestly ministry.”

Manieri is a registered sec offender as of 2006 with a conviction with charges of touching a child or a mentally defective, incapacitated, or physically helpless person for lustful purposes, says Mississippi’s sex offender registry.