By BosNewsLife Middle East Service with reporting by BosNewsLife Special
Correspondent Joseph DeCaro
AMMAN, JORDAN (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Jordan on Monday, September 10, were mourning am American missionary after police confirmed over the weekend she was stabbed to death by a teenager.
The 17-year-old reportedly confessed to killing Cheryll Harvey, 55, in her apartment in Barha, north of the capital Amman.
Authorities did not reveal the name of the assailant.
Police said the suspect was paid by Harvey for grocery runs and other chores. When she found him going through her purse and began to shout, he allegedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen, stabbing Harvey 10 times.
Harvey, from the U.S. State of Texas, taught English for 24 years for the Jordan Baptist Society,
the Baptist Press news agency said.
Her brother Dennis Harvey, of Lubbock, Texas, said in published remarks that he and his older sister had never talked about safety concerns in the Middle Eastern country.
There have been concerns about attacks against Christian missionaries in the region, amid rising Islamic extremism, BosNewsLife reported earlier.
“I know everybody was always asking her about that [security],” The Associated Press (AP) news agency quoted Dennis Harvey as saying Friday, September 7.
“I know she felt safe over there. It’s a big city.”
Harvey grew up and graduated from high school in Sudan, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Lubbock, said Reverend Robert Roecker, of the First Baptist Church in Sudan.
After earning an undergraduate and two master’s degrees in education, Roecker said she taught briefly at Sudan’s elementary school but was “determined that was not her calling, that she felt called to mission.”
AP quoted Roecker as saying that Harvey was a member of his church until 1985 and had spoken to his congregation about three times in the past 11 years.
He called her a “bright woman”, adding that friends told him that while Harvey was soft-spoken, she “was strong as steel on the inside.”
The U.S. embassy expressed condolences.
It was not clear Monday, September 10, where Harvey would be buried in Jordan or in the U.S.
No immediate date for the trial of the suspect was announced.