Idaho-Born Nun Murdered in South Africa



Sister Mary Tacke
  • Sister Mary Tacke

The North-Central Idaho community of Cottonwood is mourning the death of native-born Sister Mary Tacke, an 82-year-old Catholic nun found dead in South Africa, her body floating in a stream near the village of Tyara on June 16.

The New York Daily News reports that armed men stole Tacke's car and kidnapped her outside an orphanage that she founded. The South African newspaper Dispatch Live reports that police were able to track down the suspects following a high-speed chase, from which two men escaped but left the car in ruins. The suspects left behind key evidence: a handgun and cellphone, leading police to the arrest. A motive is unclear, as Tacke's wallet, keys and money were found with her body, which showed no visible wounds.

The nun's brother, 87-year-old Mark Tacke of Cottonwood, told the Daily News that his sister loved South Africa and spent the better part of her life helping orphans and remote villages. He added his sister helped children escape South Africa during apartheid, according to an obituary he wrote for the Lewiston Tribune.

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