State Department confirms disfigured body of journalist John Redwine found in Lebanon

Dec. 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department Tuesday confirmed the death of U.S. journalist John Redwine, whose disfigured body was found on Lebanon's Mount Sannine.

"We can confirm the death of John Redwine," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington. "We express our condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. We have been providing consular services to the next of kin. … We're in close contact with Lebanese authorities, with his family, and we have been since he was first reported missing."

Nuland said the Lebanese government is investigating.

Search teams, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy, had been scouring the area for Redwine, 33, who went missing Saturday when he went mountain climbing, The (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

Bahaa al-Koussy, director of the U.N. Information Center in Beirut, told the newspaper a disfigured body was found Tuesday not far from the parking lot where Redwine's car had been parked.

Redwine, who is from Sioux City, Iowa, had been working in Lebanon for several years. He and his wife, Irina Bentis, work as consultants for the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the newspaper said.

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