Relative of Joel Osteen believed slain

Officials continue to investigate mysterious death of pastor’s great aunt

HOUSTON – Harris County Sheriff’s Department investigators continue to probe the death of the great aunt of Joel Osteen, the pastor of the nation’s largest church.

Authorities believe Johnnie Daniel, 84, was the victim of foul play but have offered little information about the case or how she died.

Daniel’s body was discovered about 10 a.m. Thursday inside her northeast Harris County home. She lived alone.

Osteen’s mother, Dodie Osteen, is Daniel’s niece. Joel Osteen is pastor of Lakewood Church, which has more than 30,000 worshippers weekly.

“Aunt Johnnie was a kind and generous woman who lived her life with mercy, compassion and a deep love for the Lord,” Dodie Osteen said in a prepared statement. “She was dearly loved by me and my family and will be missed greatly.”

Schepps Dairy is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible.

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AP, via, USA
Aug. 19, 2006

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