Houston priest and family found beaten to death

Rev Israel Ahimbisibwe, apparently murdered with his wife and son.

An episcopalian minister, his wife and their five-year-old son have been found apparently beaten to death in their apartment in Houston, police say.

The bodies of Israel Ahimbisibwe, vicar of Redeemer Episcopal Church in Houston, his wife, Dorcus and their son Israel Ahimbisibwe Jr were found by firefighters on Monday after concerned parishioners raised the alarm when they did not attend church on Sunday.

Police say that there was no sign of a forced entry.

The couple had two older children, one of them a 19-year-old who had just enlisted in the US Marines.

They came to the US from Uganda, where Ahimbisibwe was ordained in the Church of Uganda and held master's degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School, specialising in Old Testament study. He earned another master's and doctorate from Rice University after completing graduate research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Church member Keever Wallace said: "This is just a shock. I don't know how to make any sense of this at all."

"This is a horrific and awful tragedy," said the Bishop of Texas, Rt Rev Andrew Doyle, in a statement. "We are in touch with the police and Israel's family here in Houston. Please keep the Ahimbisibwe and Redeemer families in your prayers."