Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills confirmed during a press conference this afternoon that his department is currently leading a murder investigation at the St. Bernard Church rectory.

Mills would not identify the victim, but Mayor Frank Jager confirmed that he is Rev. Eric Freed, who was found deceased in the building after he failed to show up for 9 a.m. Mass.

No suspects or persons of interest have been identified in the case, Mills said, but he assured his department would expend every resource to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. The cause of death was not released. More information to be posted shortly.

From earlier today:

The Eureka Police Department is investigating some type of violent crime at St. Bernard Church this morning, and has the majority of the block taped off as more than a dozen officers process the crime scene.

”It's a violent crime and obviously, with this kind of response, we're taking it very seriously,” said Chief Andrew Mills after arriving on scene.

He said no one is in custody.

Mills declined to release any additional information at this stage in the investigation, stating that he is waiting to speak with lead Detective Ron Harpham and the investigation team. The chief said he received a call alerting him to the situation at 9 a.m., and said he anticipates being on scene all day.

Police currently have all entrances to the church grounds, which are located at H and Sixth streets, taped off as detectives work to process the crime scene.

California Department of Justice criminalist Kay Belschner arrived at the scene just before 1 p.m. and investigators were working their way around the exterior of the rectory. Mills said he expects to release more information at 2 p.m.

Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris said his office has been notified of the situation and is on “stand by.”