Tributes pour in for ‘dedicated’ American missionaries killed in Haiti

The families of an American missionary couple who were attacked and killed in Haiti alongside the local director of a local organization are mourning and remembering the departed.

Jude Montis, the local director of Missions in Haiti Inc., and Davy and Natalie Lloyd, a young married couple from the U.S., were fatally shot in the community of Lizon in northern Port-au-Prince after leaving a youth group activity at church. Natalie was the daughter of Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker. 

“Thursday evening May 23rd our family experienced a tragedy that has broken our hearts and left Naomi and I grieving so deeply words cannot really express. My daughter and son-in-law Davy and Natalie Lloyd were murdered by gangs in Port Au Prince Haiti,” Baker said in a statement. 

They were killed as Port-au-Prince crumbles under the relentless assault of violent gangs that control 80% of the capital city while authorities await the arrival of a police force from Kenya as part of a U.N. deployment aimed at quelling gang violence in the troubled Caribbean country.

Family members said Davy and Natalie joined Missions In Haiti as full-time missionaries after they were wed in 2022. The group’s website says its goal is “to see the Gospel of Christ make a difference in the lives of Haiti’s young people.”

“They loved Haiti and loved its people deeply and ultimately gave everything for them. Davy and Natalie reached countless lives in so many ways and we want them to be remembered for who they were, selfless and full of love and devotion to the people of Haiti,” Baker said. 

Davy Lloyd’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd of Oklahoma, founded the organization in 2000 and directed its objectives towards children. David and Alicia Lloyd are full-time missionaries.

“Although the entire nation is steeped in poverty, the children suffer the worst,” the Missions In Haiti website states. “Thousands are malnourished, uneducated, and headed for hopeless lives apart from Christ.”

Hannah Cornett, Davy’s sister, told The Associated Press that they grew up in Haiti. Davy Lloyd went to the U.S. to attend a Bible college and married Natalie in June 2022. After the wedding, the couple wasted little time moving to Haiti to do humanitarian work.

Cornett said Montis, a Haitian, had worked at Missions in Haiti for 20 years. He left behind two children, ages 2 and 6. 

The organization provides housing for 36 children, 18 boys and 18 girls, at its House of Compassion, the website said. “All are destined to stay at House of Compassion until they have finished school and are ready to be on their own.”

Missions In Haiti also opened Good Hope Boys’ Home, which provides a home for 22 boys. The organization also built a church, a bakery and a school with more than 240 students, the website said. 

Missions In Haiti said in a Facebook post that Davy Lloyd, 23, and Natalie Lloyd, 21, along with some children, were leaving a youth group gathering at church when gang members in three trucks ambushed them. 

Davy Lloyd later called his family to tell them that gang members hit him on the head with the barrel of a gun, forced him upstairs, stole their belongings and left him tied up, Cornett told the Associated Press.

Missions In Haiti recounted that “another gang” went to the scene “to see what was going on and if they could help, so they say.” 

“No one understood what they were doing, not sure what took place but one was shot and killed and now this gang went into full attack mode,” the group said. 

Davy, Natalie and Jude Montis were in the house, communicating what was happening to Missions In Haiti via Starlink satellite internet. As they hid, the gangs began shooting at the house, according to Missions In Haiti.

Missions in Haiti lost contact with the missionaries. Hours later, they posted that Davy, Natalie and Montis were killed in the attack.

Rep. Baker posted on Facebook on Friday that the bodies of Davy and Natalie Lloyd had been recovered and were safely transported to the U.S. Embassy. 

A spokeswoman for the Baker family told Digital that U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., is heading up efforts to secure an airline willing to transport the bodies back to the U.S. The Lloyd/Baker family has obtained a waiver to transport the bodies back to the U.S. without being fully embalmed because there’s currently no service in Haiti that can do that for them. 

The spokeswoman said it will be Monday at least before the family has the required permits and the death certificates needed to get the bodies through customs.  

A GoFundMe set up by family friends Chris Slinkard and Missouri Republican state Rep. Dirk Deaton has raised over $35,000 as of Saturday morning to assist the Lloyd/Baker family with costs related to bringing Davy and Natalie’s bodies home.