Lena Wesström: Pastor in Sweden suspected kidnapped and murdered

A female pastor has been kidnapped and murdered in Sweden, police and her colleagues believe.

Lena Wesström, 45, went missing on May 15 and a body was found on Saturday in a forest near her home in Örebro which police 'strongly suspect' is that of Wesström, according to Swedish reports. 

Since last week, police have been appealing to the public for help in the case. 

Lena WesstromTwitter

The pastor, who is a mother, was not ministering at a specific church when she went missing, contrary to some inaccurate comments on social media. Instead, she was working with immigrants on behalf of the national organisation the Uniting Church in Sweden to which she belongs.

George Olvik, head of communications at the Uniting Church in Sweden, told Christian Today: 'There is a family around her that needs a lot of support and it is an absolutely terrible situation for them, what has happened here. It's been great to see all the support from churches around Sweden that have come together praying for this situation. We have a national crisis team to support local pastors in their difficult job.'

On Saturday, the police searched through the forest area near her home, and in the afternoon found a dead body in the area.

Local police wrote on their website: 'Based on the investigation...and the finding of the body, the police strongly suspect that it is the woman who has disappeared since May 15 found in the forest area.'

There are mixed reports over whether there are any suspects in the case. According to one report, a man was briefly arrested but has now been released.

Olvik told Christian Today: 'We call for prayer from around the world, especially in these difficult times.'