A Filipino priest accused of physically abusing teenage boys and stealing a large sum of money from a church in Texas in the United States has gone missing.

In May 2017, Rev. Edmundo Paredes, a pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff in Dallas for 27 years, was investigated for stealing US$60,000 to $80,000 from the church. Paredes admitted the crime and was suspended and removed from the church, the Dallas News reported.

In February, it was discovered that Paredes allegedly molested three teenage boys more than 10 years ago and church officials were not aware of the allegations until the investigations into Paredes began.

Bishop Edward Burns confirmed that the allegations were true, but did not disclose any details of the incidents. According to Burns, Paredes may have fled the country and could be hiding in the Philippines.

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas has contacted authorities in the Philippines to help track down Paredes.