RealNews

Australian Missionary Beheaded

Australian authorities in the Solomon Islands are still working through red tape before Lance Gersbach’s body can be brought back to Australia. The 60-year-old missionary was beheaded yesterday on the remote island of Malaita after arriving in February to serve as business manager at the Atoifi Adventist Hospital. Gersbach was an accountant in Newcastle before agreeing to go to the Solomons for a year. Solomons Police said he was murdered in a surprise machete attack yesterday. His body has now been released by police after an autopsy in the capital, Honiara, but Australian High Commissioner Bob Davis said: “We’re working with the family and with authorities, including police and the hospital, to facilitate an easy return. There are still arrangements to finalise.” He was unable to indicate a time when either Gersbach’s body or his wife Jean and two children would return to Australia. Police said there was no increased risk for other Australians in the same area. The director of the criminal investigation division, Jackson Ofu, said “It’s a one-off incident. The security assessment from the area is very low. The area used to be dangerous but now it’s quiet.” Full Story

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