Severed head found near Jolo govt office

As the head was found in a gunny sack with the label “Bernard Then Ted Fen,” it is believed to be that of the executed hostage.

PETALING JAYA - A severed head, believed to be that of hostage Bernard Then, has been found near a municipal council building on Jolo island.

Jolo police chief Major Junpikar Sitin told The Star that a street sweeper had found a gunny sack with the head inside, along with the label "Bernard Then Ted Fen".

It was discovered on Marina Street at the Barangay Wall City at about 8.30pm on Tuesday.

Sitin said police cordoned the area off to look for evidence and took the head away two hours later.

"We have turned it over to the military task force for DNA tests," he said, adding that Then's death could not be confirmed until the tests were completed.

The body was reportedly buried not far from Barangay Tanan in Indanan, where the 39-year-old Sarawakian engineer was mostly held during six months of captivity.

Brig-Gen Alan Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu in the area, said Then was beheaded when the military launched an artillery barrage on the kidnappers' position on the island.

Then's body was likely buried close to where he was killed, said Brig-Gen Arrojado, adding that his soldiers were trying to find the grave.