Remains of Kidnapped Missionary Found in Mali
DNA tests confirmed that the body of Beatrice Stoeckli has been recovered, months after her reported death at the hands of Islamic extremists.
“Sadly, we now have definitive evidence that the woman who was held hostage is dead,” said Switzerland’s foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis. “But I am also relieved that we can return the woman’s remains to her family and I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to them.”
Beatrice Stoeckli primarily worked in Timbuktu, spreading the gospel and working with women and children in Mali since 2000. In 2016, she was taken captive by the terrorist group ama’at Nusrat Al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin (JNIM), a group affiliated to al-Qaeda that has been known to attack foreigners in the country.
Beatrice was confirmed dead in October 2020 by Sophie Petronin, a French charity worker that was also abducted in 2016 and later released. According to Petronin, who converted to Islam during her captivity, Beatrice protested the constant changes of location that her captors enforced, and as she continued to fight against them, they dragged her outside and shot her. It is believed that she had not converted at the time of her death.