Malaysian police say DNA test confirms severed head found in Philippines is that of slain hostage

Then was reportedly beheaded by his Abu Sayyaf captors at about 4pm on Nov 11.
Then was reportedly beheaded by his Abu Sayyaf captors at about 4pm on Nov 11. PHOTO: THE STAR

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police have received verbal confirmation that a DNA sample from a severed head found in Jolo, Philippines matches that of slain Malaysian hostage Bernard Then Ted Fen.

Speaking to reporters at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Saturday (Dec 19), Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police had received verification from their Philippine counterparts.

"Our counterparts communicated the information to us verbally, and not in writing, that the head found in Jolo matches Bernard's DNA.

"I want to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to Bernard's family. We will take all necessary measures for the culprits to face the laws of our country," he added.

Then was reportedly beheaded by his Abu Sayyaf captors at about 4pm on Nov 11. Philippines military said it was due to a breakdown in negotiations over his release.

Khalid said police are collaborating with the Attorney-General's Chambers to extradite the culprits behind Then's murder and bring them to justice.

"We have made applications … We are working closely with the A-G's Chambers to get at least two of them back here. Definitely I want them (the culprits) tomorrow. But we have to go through the process of law," he told reporters.

On Monday (Dec 14), Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr said soldiers from the Philippines' 501st Infantry Brigade had recovered a headless body at Sitio Lungon-lungon at Parang on Jolo island at about 11pm.

He said the body was found buried in a shallow grave in a hilly jungle and was in an advanced state of decomposition.

The body was sent to Zamboanga City for identification.