An American preacher was reportedly shot to death with arrows last week by an indigenous tribe off of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in a remote area of India.
John Allen Chau, 27, of Alabama, was apparently killed Saturday by members of an “endangered” tribe, referred to as the Sentinelese, as he was thought to have headed to the islands to preach Christianity, BBC News reports, citing local sources. The tribe is thought to consist of about 50-150 members.
According to a report by Daily Mail, the victim was taken to the islands after he paid fisherman to transport him.
While the tribe is reportedly protected from prosecution because “contact with them and several tribes on the islands is illegal,” seven fisherman who took the victim there by boat apparently did so illegally and were arrested in the case, the media outlet reported.
“The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they don’t even understand how to use money,” a journalist in the region, Subir Bhaumik, told BBC. “It’s in fact illegal to have any sort of contact with them”
The AFP news agency said that the man was “attacked by arrows but he continued walking” when he encountered the tribesmen.
“The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. They were scared and fled,” the report said, according to India’s Times News Now.
While the victim’s body was reportedly spotted yesterday, it had not been recovered at the time of publishing. Laws governing the land could make it difficult for his remains to be retrieved, according to Bhaumik.
“It’s a difficult case for the police,” he stated. “You can’t even arrest the Sentinelese.”
A spokesperson for the US consulate in Chennai told the Daily Mail that officials will “work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts.”
Chau described himself via his Instagram account as a “Snakebite Survivor” who was a “Wilderness EMT,” and “Outbound Collective Explorer.” His photos depicted a life of travel amid picturesque scenery.
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for the latest updates.
[Feature Photo: John Allen Chau/Instagram]