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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Bigley family in appeal for body
People sign the book of condolence for Ken Bigley
Ken Bigley came from the Walton area of Liverpool
The family of murdered British hostage Ken Bigley has appealed for his body to be released, to end its ordeal.

Mr Bigley, a 62-year-old engineer from Liverpool, was taken hostage on 16 September by the Tawhid and Jihad Iraqi militant group in Baghdad.

He was beheaded two weeks later but his family has not held a funeral because his body has never been found.

His brother, Phil Bigley, told BBC Panorama while Ken was held the family received two private videos of him.

'Terror videos'

"We received some private videos that were channelled through the embassy in Baghdad and through the Foreign Office and to ourselves," he told Wednesday's programme.

"He was dressed in normal clothing, he was clean shaven, he was a lot more relaxed... in possibly an area sitting near a dining table, or certainly completely different circumstances than the previous terror videos."

But the second video gave a 24-hour deadline and showed Ken terrified, pleading for his life.

Tawhid and Jihad members, from a video they released

"It switched everything round and it brought us full circle again.

"This was a more definite horror and a reality that there's no way out of this, there's absolutely no way out.

"The Foreign Office asked if we'd want to respond to that and I can recall that we sat and decided, what more can we say? How many times can you beg?"

Another brother, Stan, said an intermediary in Baghdad had told them Ken's body had been buried and that the family might find out where in the future.

"We would love it to come out so we can get his remains back," he said.

'Inevitable' fate

Ken's mother, Lil, said returning his body would put an end to this "sad story".

She said: "I had to be strong, mainly for my sons and the rest of the family, and it did affect everyone.

"The inevitable happened and he died, but no matter what we say now, nothing will bring Ken back.

"But the sad part of it is we haven't had a burial - we can't find his body. That would really put an end to the sad story."

Panorama: Hostage was broadcast on Wednesday, 29 June 2005 at 2100 BST on BBC One.

Watch extracts from BBC Panorama interview



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