A memorial was held today in Belize for an Edmonton man who police say was murdered in on Christmas Eve.

Brian Townsend, 64, had been living and working as a missionary in Central America for the past nine years.

He was reported missing from his home in the small community of Valley of Peace on Christmas, and his body was later found in Guatemala.

Pastor Gelder Gamboa, who worked with Townsend, said he expects a big turnout at the service.

“The community is sad and we're still grieving. You know, this is where we are at this present moment because we will not see him anymore. It is over.”

Belize police have two suspects in mind and are working with Guatemalan authorities, but have not yet made any arrests in the case.

Arrangements have been made to transport Townsend's ashes back to his family in Canada.

A memorial service will be held Jan. 19 in Lacombe at the College Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

With files from CBC's Janice Johnston