01/01/2014 04:30 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Brian Townsend Missing: Body In Guatemala May Be That Of Edmonton Missionary


The Edmonton family of a Canadian man missing in Belize since Christmas fear the worst may now be reality.

Brian Townsend, who was working as a missionary in the Central American country, went missing on Christmas Day and a body fitting his description has been found in Guatemala, according to a Facebook page set up to help with the man's search.

"It is with sad and heavy hearts that we report the developments of yesterday," states a post on the page.

"The body fits the description of Brian. We are awaiting final confirmation of the identity of the body. We ask for you to pray for the family and to pray that these countries will work together in harmony so we can confirm who this person was."

Channel 5 Belize recently reported the body was likely Townsend, a Canadian missionary who had been living in the small town of Valley of Peace since 2001, and probably met with foul play.

The news organization credits the Canadian for building the village's only college, the Seventh Day Adventist Academy, and described him as, "a Good Samaritan and a good friend to the community, doing missionary work and just generally lending a hand to anybody in need."

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According to the Edmonton Sun, Townsend's son Kory, who flew to Belize on Dec. 28., said his father’s small apartment, just outside of Belmopan, was found on Christmas in disarray with “signs of an aggressive struggle that carried out the door and across the lawn to where his truck was parked.”

His father’s truck was missing.

“This is a rescue. If not for my father then for our sanity."

Soon after Townsend's disappearance, Belize Defence Force and search and rescue personnel joined the hunt for the missing Canadian.

Community neighbours had also been searching for Townsend, since their long-time neighbour went missing on Christmas, according to the CBC.

According to Channel 5 Belize, the body was found on Dec. 27, two days after Townsend's disappearance on Christmas Day, floating on a river, just on the other side of Guatemalan border.