Philippines finds headless body of man, troops verifying if it belongs to Canadian beheaded by militants

Filipino soldiers waiting for orders during a military offensive on the outskirts of Jolo, Sulu Island, on April 27, 2016.
Filipino soldiers waiting for orders during a military offensive on the outskirts of Jolo, Sulu Island, on April 27, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Military authorities here on Wednesday (April 27) said a headless cadaver had been recovered in Sulu.

Major Felimon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, did not give specifics as to where and when the headless body had been found, but he said it belonged to a man.

"Troops are still verifying if the body was that of John Ridsdel. Will update as data becomes available," he said in a text message.

However, in a statement later, he said "the headless body believed to be of Canadian John Ridsdel" was recovered by a police special forces unit in Gata village, in Talipao town, Sulu.

He said the body is now being processed "for proper disposition".

Mr Ridsdel, a Canadian national and a former mining executive, was beheaded by captors believed to be members of the brutal Abu Sayyaf group after his family failed to raise the 300 million pesos ransom they wanted for his freedom. His severed head was found in Jolo town.

The beheaded victim was among four hostages taken by the Abu Sayyaf from the Holiday Oceanview Resort and marina on Samal Island, Daval del Norte last Sept 21.

The other hostages are Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor.