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Father Bellicose - MISSING!

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Police say they have few clues, manhunt started

By Albert T. Arrow
Times Staff

Local priest Father Joseph Bellicose, a fixture in this community for decades, hasn't been seen at the Rottingwood First Catholic Church in three weeks.

The 58-year-old Bellicose, who became monsignor of the Rottingwood Road church in 1976, was last seen by church members during the usual Monday morning confession.

"He heard confession every Monday morning. I personally saw him once a month," said Freddy King, owner of King Oil and Road Company Steakhouse. "I saw him that morning. He helped me sort out an employee problem at work. Yes sir, he surely did."

King says he returned to the church the following Monday "to clarify some points about the previous employee problem," when he found the church unlocked and empty.

"It was the strangest thing. All the doors were open. All the candles on the altar had guttered. There was just nothing," King said. "Odd thing too. I could swear I smelled sulphur in the church. Isn't that odd?"

Rottingwood Sheriff Thomas White said he has launched a manhunt.

"We have few clues to follow and frankly its hard enough get a group to together to search the woods, after what happened last year," White said. "Folks round these parts plain don't like to go near the woods off Rottingwood Road."

Meanwhile Eastdale diocese Bishop Federico Purcell said he was shocked by Bellicose's disappearance.


Please MISSING on page A6

Rottingwood First Catholic Church, as seen from Rottingwood Road.


Father Joe Bellicose has been missing for 3 weeks.
Times photo by Garry Brown


By Times staff

The old Rottingwood Mill, the first major employer in Rottingwood, is being bought by the multinational software and industry giant, Kultech.

Kultech COE Fredrick Kul said he bought the mill because he wants to invest in small town America.

"This country has been so good to me, I want to do what I can to give something back to the little people," Kul said in a phone interview yesterday.

Kul is expected to visit Rottingwood Mayor Richard Bailey next week.

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