German woman found dead in abandoned yacht off Sulu, companion said kidnapped
A German woman was found dead in an abandoned yacht in an island in Sulu and her companion was could have been abducted by the Abu Sayyaf, a military spokesman said Monday.
Major Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said based on initial report the body of a naked woman with gunshot wounds and “several contusions to the face” was found by civilians in an abandoned yacht with markings "Rock All" and the German flag in the vicinity of Laparan Island, Pangutaran, Sulu” around 6 am last Sunday.
“Alarming is that the body found was naked and had several contusions to the face and was possibly raped. Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives will conduct autopsy to validate this possibility,” Tan said.
Tan said a shotgun was recovered beside the victim. The passport of the woman named Sabine Isle Merz, 59 with a picture, was also found.
He said the yacht is at Bongao Pier where police crime scene operatives will examine it.
Tan said the military is verifying the claim of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Muamar Askali alias Abu Rami a 70-year- old German national, identified as Jurgen Kantner, was seized on Saturday from a yacht off the waters of Tanjong Luuk Pisuk, Sabah.
“The Western Mindanao Command is validating the veracity of reports that the cadaver found belonged to the alleged companion of Kantner, identified as Sabina Wetch,” he said.
Tan could not say when the vessel was attacked but Askali claimed the woman died after she tried to fight or shoot Abu Sayyaf.
Kantner and Merz were abducted by Somalian pirates in Somalia in 2008 but were freed.
The Abu Sayyaf is holding 15 captives, including a Dutch citizen, five Malaysians, two Indonesians and seven Filipinos. Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said in a text message to Daily Manila Shimbun two Indonesians were abducted before the incident with the Germans but the military could not furnish details. Robina Asido, Celerina Monte/DMS