A Christian missionary who was shot dead with bows and arrows on a remote Indian island may have survived the attack, his friends and family believe.
American John Allen Chau, 26, was reportedly killed by the protected Sentinelese tribe during his quest to convert North Sentinel islanders to Christianity.
Fishermen who took Chau to the island say they saw tribespeople, who are isolated from the outside world, dragging and burying his body on the morning of November 17.
But close friend John Middleton Ramsey told The Sun Online he believes there’s a chance his friend may have survived the attack – and doesn’t believe authorities should rule it out.
He points to only one source being cited in the reports claiming the fishermen saw the adventurer being bombarded by arrows and then dragged across the beach by tribesmen.
Chau’s mother Linda also believes her son may still be alive as his corpse has still not been recovered, his pal said.
“I think there’s a possibility he may have survived – I wouldn’t rule it out,” John, 22, said.
“His mother is a Christian too and she has said that in her prayers that she had feelings that John might still be alive.
“And there weren’t a whole lot of eyewitnesses and so since his body hasn’t been found we shouldn’t rule it out – even if it is a small chance.”
Authorities have been trying to recover Chau’s body – and believe they know where it has been buried – but their attempts have been thwarted by the armed tribesmen.
The Sentinelese have been known to attack anyone who goes to the island, seeing them as a threat.
But John says that if Chau is indeed dead, his friend wouldn’t want anyone to risk their life to bring his body home – and would be happy to be buried on the island.
“Knowing John, I don’t think it would be that important for him to be buried back at home,” he said.
“So if it was to endanger other people, I think he’d prefer being buried there.”
Real estate agent John revealed how his friend, who he met during a trip to Israel two summers ago, had been planning his trip to Andaman Islands – where North Sentinel island is located – since high school.
The young missionary hoped to spend time living with the Sentinelese people, learning their language, converting them to Christianity and even translating the Bible for them.
Adventurers have been warned that contact with the tribe could kill them due to the islanders having a lack of immunity against outsider’s viruses and infections.
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SOURCE: The Sun, Emma Parry