Earlier, in late 1990, a Jesuit priest from U.S.A., Rev.Fr. Herbiet and his aide disappeared in the same manner while travelling in a motorbike in Eravur area in Batticaloa District and later was found out to have been kidnapped and killed by the Army and Muslim Home Guards.
THE DISAPPEARANCE of Fr. Herbert happened on August 15, 1990. As in the cases of a multitude of disappearances in the NorthEast Tamil areas, Fr. Herbert's remains still an unsolved mystery!
Eugene John Herbert, S.J. was born in Jennings, Louisiana, USA, on October 9, 1923. He joined the Jesuits on 14-08-41. After completion of Jesuit studies, he volunteered for the Ceylon Mission. He was accepted in 1948 and arrived that September. He served a year in Batticaloa and another in Trincomalee at the Jesuit Colleges. He was called to Poona for the study of Theology and ordained in March 1954. He returned to Ceylon in April 1956. Fr. Herbert was assigned to St. Joseph’s College, Trincomalee as a teacher and sports coach. He was named principal there for a brief period. Jesuit schools were taken over by the State in 1970. In 1974, Fr. Herbert was sent to Batticaloa to work at the ETI, the Jesuit/Methodist technical institute. He became its director. At the same time he took on basketball coaching at St. Michael’s College, Batticaloa, where he achieved national championship status over several years. Until his violent disappearance in 1990, Fr. Herbert served the community with utmost diligence.