Police Mum on Priest's Homicide
'We Have Leads,' Detective Says

By Louise Taylor
Herald-Leader [Lexington KY]
December 9, 2003

Investigators were tight-lipped yesterday about the murder of Joseph Pilger, the Catholic priest and sex offender who was beaten to death at his Lexington home last week.

Detective Sgt. Paul Williams said that for reasons he could not reveal "it is not important" for police to be on the lookout for Pilger's 1999 Buick, which a neighbor said was missing after the priest's body was found. Williams declined to elaborate.

He also said there have been two recent burglaries in Pilger's neighborhood on Pleasant Pointe Drive but that no connection between them and the murder has been established.

"All I can say is that we have leads we're following, and the investigation is going forward," Williams said.

Pilger, 78, was found dead Friday evening by his landlord. A police report estimated that he had been beaten sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Neighbors said that for the past few weeks a man in his teens had been living with Pilger.

In 1995, Pilger pleaded guilty to molesting three brothers and their cousin, all of whom were altar boys in Morganfield, where Pilger served as priest in the late 1960s.

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