NEW DELHI (AP) — The Latest on the death of an American who was killed by an isolated Indian tribe (all times local):
Police investigating the apparent killing of an American by an isolated island tribe off the coast of India said they have surveyed the island by air and have carefully visited the area to identify where the man died.
A statement issued by the police for the Andaman and Nicobar islands late Wednesday said the police and India’s coast guard carried out an aerial survey of Northern Sentinel Island on Tuesday. A team of police and forest department officials used a coast guard boat to visit the island Wednesday and another visit was planned Thursday.
The Sentinelese people are highly resistant to outsiders and the government tightly restricts visits to the island. Police officer Vijay Singh said Thursday morning that police were exploring their options since they cannot go directly to the restricted area and confront the tribespeople.
Police on Wednesday said fishermen who helped John Allen Chau visit the island saw a dead person being buried at the shore who appeared to be Chau. The fishermen then returned to Port Blair, the capital of the islands, and reported what happened.
John Allen Chau spent summers alone in a California cabin as a wilderness emergency responder. He led backpacking expeditions in the Northwest’s Cascade Mountains, almost lost his leg to a rattlesnake bite, and coached soccer for poor children in Iraq and South Africa.
But kayaking to a remote Indian island, home to a tribe known for firing arrows at outsiders, proved an adventure too far for the avid outdoorsman and Christian missionary.
Police in India said Wednesday he had been killed, and authorities were working with anthropologists to try to recover his body from North Sentinel, in the Andaman Islands.
The 26-year-old was from southwestern Washington state, where he attended Vancouver Christian High School. He went on to graduate from Oral Roberts University, a Christian college in Oklahoma, in 2014, with a degree health and exercise science.
While there, he worked with the university’s missions and outreach department.
The family of an American killed by isolated Indian tribesmen says it is forgiving those who did it.
Relatives of John Allen Chau have posted a statement on Instagram in which they said they were mourning him as a “beloved son, brother, uncle and best friend to us.”
The family also called for the release of those who assisted him in his quest to reach the island.
Police say Chau was killed on North Sentinel Island by a tribe known for shooting bows and arrows at outsiders.
They say seven fishermen have been arrested for helping Chau visit the island last week.
Visits to the island are heavily restricted, and the Sentinelese people are known to resist contact with outsiders, often attacking them.
Police say an American is believed to have been killed by an isolated Indian island tribe known to fire at outsiders with bows and arrows.
Police officer Vijay Singh says seven fishermen have been arrested for facilitating the American’s visit to North Sentinel Island, where the killing apparently occurred. Visits to the island are heavily restricted by the government.
The Sentinelese people live on a small forested island and are known to resist all contact with outsiders, often attacking anyone who comes near.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Indian media reports said the American was on an adventure trip to the islands and his body was found by the fishermen.