Pastor Don Smith of Prospect Park Missionary Baptist Church in Whitehaven, TN was found shot dead on Saturday morning, and his family is searching for answers.
The 57-year-old had a reputation for helping anyone in need, and his family fears his kindness may have made him a target.
Smith's body was discovered by two men walking their dogs near a pond on the 3400 block of Lichterman Street in Hickory Hill. The pastor's wallet and 2010 Buick Lacrosse were missing.
"The only thing I can see is my daddy trying to help someone in the middle of the night, which is something he would do," the pastor's daughter, Whitney Smith, told FOX 13. "He was that kind of person – so helpful he seems naïve sometimes, because he helped everybody... even when they shouldn't be helped."
"We definitely think it was a robbery," Brendan Jones added. "Somebody had to have mugged him, had to have because everybody loved him. He was pretty much like the spokesperson for this community."
Smith was last seen on Halloween night and was in good spirits. Family and friends became concerned when the pastor did not appear at church the next day for an event. The truth was a shocking discovery.
"We were just in disbelief," Alandria Williams-Ware told WREG. "We couldn't understand why somebody would want to do something, or something this tragic would happen to us. We just had no clue."
"As a family we're already forgiving this person, but we want justice served," Raymond Jones said.
Police are still looking for Smith's white Buick Lacrosse with Tennessee license plate number M5166A. Anyone with information should contact CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH or the Memphis Police Homicide office at 901-636-3300.
Pastor Smith's funeral will be held at Golden Gate Cathedral in Memphis on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. The wake will be held on Friday from 4-7 p.m.