KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities have arrested seven men suspected of involvement in the death of a U.S. pastor, police said Thursday.
The body of Rev. David Ginter was found bound with cloth in his home in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s main city, on May 4. Officials determined that he died of asphyxiation.
Ginter’s wife, who was visiting her home country of Australia at the time, had asked a neighbor to check on him when she couldn’t contact him.
Police detained seven men this week, including a few believed to have personally known Ginter, said Ang Ah Ban, the police head of criminal investigations in Ampang Jaya district.
Ang denied media reports that those arrested belonged to Ginter’s Bridge International Church in Kuala Lumpur.
The church’s other pastor, the Rev. Cristian Moscoso, said nobody in his 200-member congregation had been held.
Ang said the suspects, mostly in their 20s and 30s, would be held for questioning until next week but he declined to elaborate on a possible motive. Not all of them were believed to be directly involved in the 61-year-old American’s death, he said.
The pastor’s car, which was reported missing, has since been found, Ang said.
Ginter’s church website says he was from outside Portland, Ore. He came to Malaysia in 2010.