Wednesday, December 22, 2010

American slain in Israel to be buried in US

JERUSALEM (AP) - The reverend of an American tourist killed in an Israeli forest last week said Tuesday she will be buried in the United States after a memorial service in Jerusalem later this week.

David Pileggi of Christ Church in Jerusalem said the family of Kristine Luken has not said when or where she will be buried.

Luken's friend Kaye Susan Wilson said the pair were hiking on Saturday when two Arab men attacked them, binding their hands and stabbing them. Wilson, a naturalized Israeli citizen from the U.K., escaped after playing dead. Police found Luken's body the next day.

Police suspect the attack was politically motivated, though it could have been criminal. No arrests have been made.

Luken often visited Israel with a group that promotes Christianity among Jews.

Luken's family has declined to disclose her home town, but property and telephone records indicate that she lived in Loudoun County, Virginia, before moving to Nottingham, England, last year to work for a Christian group.

That organization, the Church's Ministry among Jewish People, said Luken was appointed administrator of its U.K. operations in October 2009.

The U.S. Department of Education said Tuesday the 44-year-old woman once worked for the agency.