Murder of Father Rene Robert by Steven Murray featured on Signs Of A Psychopath

Father Rene Robert photo and Steven Murray mugshot
Father Rene Robert was murdered by Steven Murray. Pic Credit: St. Johns County Sherrif’s Office and Aiken County Sheriff’s Office 

Signs Of A Psychopath is featuring the case of Rene Robert, a priest for the Diocese of St. Augustine in northeast Florida, who was murdered by Steven Murray.

On April 10, 2016, Robert went missing. He made a Facebook post about visiting a patient at Orange Park at the Medical Center in Orange Park. 

Later, he was to attend church for a Mass celebration, but he didn’t show up.

Robert’s friends tried to call his cell phone several times, but they didn’t get an answer. That’s when they contacted the police and reported the 71-year-old missing.

On the night of April 12, officers spotted Murray driving Robert’s blue 2012 Toyota Corolla on State Road 207 in St. Augustine, and tried to pull him over.

Murray kept going and led them on a high-speed chase.

When they reached Jacksonville, officers in that county took over the chase, but they lost sight of the vehicle in construction zones near I-95 and JTB, where there was heavy traffic.

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Police suspected foul play in Father Rene Robert’s disappearance

A manhunt for Murray came to an end three days later when police officials received a 911 call from a homeowner. She said the man they were looking for was outside her home in Aiken, South Carolina.

Officers arrived on the scene within 10 minutes. They arrested Murray at the intersection of Nautilus Road and Crab Trail.

Robert’s vehicle was found crashed in a wooded area with firearms inside.

Murray was taken to the Aiken County Jail before he was extradited to the St. Johns County Jail, where he was held on a $100,000 bond.

He was charged with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude.

Steven Murray confessed to the killing of Father Rene Robert

Murray wasn’t charged with murder until he confessed to killing Robert and leading the police to his body in a wooded area in Burke County, Georgia.

The then-28-year-old told authorities that he abducted the priest after asking for a ride in Jacksonville. He put him in the trunk of his own car and drove to Georgia, where he shot him to death.

The motive for the killing is unknown, the police said.

Church officials stated that Robert left behind a “Declaration of Life” that had been notarized in 1995. It stated that if he were ever murdered, he wouldn’t want his killer to be put to death.

Murray took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to Robert’s murder.

In November 2017, a judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Signs Of A Psychopath airs Tuesdays at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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