Man confesses to killing two nuns in their home - but gives no reason why

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A man arrested for the murder of two nuns in Mississippi has come clean and confessed to the killings, a sheriff said.

Rodney Sanders is charged with capital murder for the deaths of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, both 68.

The 46-year-old confessed to the killings during a police interrogation, but gave no reason for the crimes, said sheriff Willie March.

This is a smartphone photograph taken and released by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in Durant, Miss., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, of Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, who has been charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the killing of  Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, both nurse practitioners who were found dead in their Durant house Thursday. (Mississippi Department of Public Safety Hand Out, via AP)

The nuns worked in a clinic in Lexington, and were known for their generosity and commitment to improving health care for the poor.

The women gave flu shots, dispensed insulin and provided other medical care for children and adults - people who knew the nuns don't know why anyone would kill them.

Jonell Payton, who lives a few doors from the nuns' house, said they were "the most precious two people".

The women's bodies were discovered on Thursday after they failed to arrive for work - the sheriff said they had been stabbed.