Area of Island Where Remote Tribe Killed Man Is Mapped

But officials aren't ready to retrieve John Allen Chau's body
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 25, 2018 5:06 AM CST
Area of Island Where Remote Tribe Killed Man Is Mapped
In this Nov. 14, 2005 file photo, clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India's southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh, File)

(Newser) – Police said they have mapped the area of a remote Indian island where tribespeople were seen burying the body of an American adventurer and Christian missionary after allegedly killing him with arrows this month, reports the AP. But before they can even attempt to recover the body of 26-year-old John Allen Chau, authorities have to learn from experts "the nuances of the group's conduct and behavior, particularly in this kind of violent behavior," said Dependra Pathak, the director-general of police of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where North Sentinel Island is located. During their visit to the island's surroundings on Friday, investigators spotted four or five North Sentinel islanders moving in the area from a distance of about 1,600 feet from a boat and studied their behavior for several hours, said Pathak.

The fishermen who had taken Chau to the shore saw the tribespeople dragging and burying his body on the morning of Nov. 17, and "we have more or less identified the site and the area in general," Pathak said Saturday. Chau went to "share the love of Jesus," said Mary Ho, international executive leader of All Nations. All Nations, a Kansas City, Missouri-based organization, helped train Chau, discussed the risks with him, and sent him on the mission, to support him in his "life's calling," she added. "He wanted to have a long-term relationship, and if possible, to be accepted by them and live amongst them." She maintained the Indian government lifted restrictions on traveling to the island in August and said she couldn't comment on why Chau arrived there the way he did, but that he carefully planned it. "We are just in grief and in shock about his death," she said. "At the same time, we consider it a real honor to have worked with him." (Chau left a 13-page letter behind.)

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