The man appeared to have been beaten, nearly to death, and left behind the church on South Chaparral Street, according to police.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (KRIS) - Father John Hayden Haby set out for an early morning; it was a day of religious celebration at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
But when medics knocked on Haby's door to tell him there was an emergency, what he found behind the building was anything but pious.
"(I saw) a gentlemen who looked like he was bloody all over," Haby said. "It looked like he had been in a fight or assaulted or something."
Corpus Christi Fire Department medics were already there treating him, Haby said.
The gruesome discovery stemmed from a 911 call police received around 7:30 am. It was from a passerby who saw a man lying in a pool of his own blood.
He appeared to have been beaten, nearly to death, and left behind the church on South Chaparral Street, according to police.
Police said the victim appeared to be in his 40s, but could not immediately identify him.
He was rushed to Spohn Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Church goers were shocked to be met with crime tape and police cars.
"I was just really concerned making sure everybody at the church was okay," said Anastasia Strates.
Strates, who owns the nearby Tango Tea Room Restaurant, said she was surprised to see the crime scene tape and police cars.
Another challenge for crime scene investigators was rain; it was washing away evidence, namely, blood on the ground.
Haby conceded that he often sees people passing near his building late at night, but said he didn't recognize the victim.
Police said that upon last check he was still in critical condition, but was making slight improvements.
They still don't have a suspect in the case, but if that person is found, they could face charges of aggravated assault.