SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Authorities in the Dominican Republic have detained a Catholic priest as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old who previously served as an altar boy in his church.

The Rev. Elvis Taveras was taken into custody after questioning by police and prosecutors who searched his residence in eastern Santo Domingo. He was expected to make his initial appearance before a judge Thursday.

Prosecutor Gilberto Castillo said he would seek to have the priest held while authorities continue the investigation. Taveras did not yet have a lawyer.

Fernelis Carrion’s body was found in brush along a road leading north out of the capital. A taxi driver told newspaper Diario Libre that he had taken the teen to meet the priest and that Taveras paid the fare. Authorities have not disclosed the cause of death.

A statement from the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo says Taveras was suspended from his duties as a precaution.

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