BEIRUT: Lebanese security officials confirmed that the body of missing American John Redwine was found Tuesday in a remote mountainous area of the country.
“As a result of the search operation, John Redwine was found dead in the mountain region of Sannine,” a statement by the Lebanese Army said.
Security officials, who spoke to The Daily Star said John Redwine, who went missing over the weekend, had apparently died while hiking in the rugged mountain region of Sannine.
The body was transported to a hospital for examination, the army statement said, but did not comment on whether foul play was a possibility until an autopsy was completed.
Lebanese Red Cross official George Kettaneh told The Daily Star that the body was taken to Hotel Dieu hospital in Beirut, adding that it looked like Redwine had suffered a blow to the back of his head.
Redwine's wife, Irina, sounded distraught when contacted by The Daily Star about her husband’s disappearance and said she did not wish to talk to the media.
Some 100 personnel from both the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces took part in the large-scale search operation for Redwine. Squads, in coordination with a team from the U.S. Embassy , scoured the mountainous area for the 33-year-old American national. Two helicopters and search dogs were recruited as part of the operation.
According to the security sources, Mrs. Redwine arrived in Lebanon from Morocco Monday after she lost contact with her husband on Dec. 17. The wife contacted the U.S. Embassy after her arrival.
Bahaa al-Koussy, director of the U.N. Information Center in Beirut, told The Daily Star that Redwine worked for the Beirut office of BGR, a German federal institute for geosciences and natural resources that has been cooperating with the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) since 1992.