Recovery of Body on Remote Island Deemed Too Risky

Plan is on hold for now, BBC reports
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2018 12:03 PM CST
Quest for Missionary's Body on Hold
John Allen Chau, right, poses with Ubuntu Football Academy founder Casey Prince in Cape Town, South Africa, days before leaving for North Sentinel Island.   (AP Photo/Sarah Prince)

India is giving up attempts to recover John Allen Chau's body from the remote island where the US missionary was killed by tribespeople, at least temporarily. Government officials, including those within law enforcement and tribal welfare, agreed Monday to put the plan on hold to avoid disturbing the protected Sentinelese of North Sentinel Island, reports the BBC. A government official adds that a boat was dispatched Tuesday morning "only to check the situation." No contact has been made with the tribe, which resists outsiders, since the 26-year-old Chau is believed to have died after reaching the island on Nov. 16, per CNN. Fishermen who dropped him off believe they saw his body a day later.

"We know the general direction of where it was taken, but we still don't know where exactly it is," the official tells the BBC, referring to the body's recovery as "too risky." Survival International said the recovery would be "incredibly dangerous," noting the risk of disease for the islanders and past incidents that resulted in them using force in a bid to defend their home, reports the Guardian. Still, evidence may need to be collected before Chau's death certificate can be issued. (The bodies of two fishermen killed on the island in 2006 have not been recovered.)

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