South African pastor found burned to death after apparent abduction

(Facebook/Life in Christ Network)Pastor Martin Beneke appears in a photo from Life in Christ Network's Facebook page.

A South African pastor who was recently reported missing was found burned beyond recognition at a farm in Magaliesburg on Tuesday.

Martin Beneke, founder and senior pastor at Life in Christ Network in Johannesburg, was reported missing on Oct. 16 and last seen driving his white double cab Nissan Navara at the Total petrol station on 14th Avenue in Fairland.

The 45-year-old pastor was reportedly found "burned beyond recognition" with his hands tied behind his back at a farm in Magaliesburg, 50 miles outside of Johannesburg.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela confirmed that it was Beneke's body that was found at the farm.

Makhubela said that a farmer found Beneke's body next to a burning white Nissan Navarro after he noticed smoke coming from the area.

Life in Christ Network announced the pastor's death in a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

"It is with heavy sadness and sorrow that we have to inform everyone that the founder and head pastor of LICN, Pastor Martin, has passed away on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017," the statement reads.

"There are still so many questions we have and answers we need but we trust the process," it continued.

Beneke's mother, Elaine, wrote in a Facebook post: "My son is now part of statistics — hacked and killed!"

Unconfirmed reports have claimed that he was last seen on CCTV footage with two unknown males at the petrol station around 10 a.m. on Oct. 16. At one point, his car was also tracked near Cosmo city, according to Roodepoort Record.

On Wednesday, the police told the Northcliff Melville Times that no arrests have been made in connection with the murder of the pastor and the police are still searching for a motive behind the crime.

Sergeant Mpho More of the Florida Police Station said that there have been no further developments in the case since the discovery of Beneke's body.

Numerous people have taken to Facebook to express their sorrow over the pastor's death and to comment on what kind of man he was.

"RIP Pastor Martin K. Beneke. You will be sadly missed by everyone you have touched and everyone's lives you changed in amazing ways and your inspiration you brought, especially mine, helping me with addiction," a Facebook user named Daniel Meissenheimer wrote.

"[T]hanks for changing my life and showing me a new way of life with God by my side. You have left a lagecy [sic] rip forever missed," he added.

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