You are here

Police and Crime

Missing body a headache for Tonga Police

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Yellow Pier
Yellow Pier (American Wharf), Nuku'alofa, Tonga. 27 December 2023. Photo: Matangi Tonga.

After a month-long headache investigating the case of a human head that was found anchored to the seabed at Yellow Pier, on Christmas Day, Tonga Police are now seeking external assistance to find the body. Deputy Police Commissioner Tevita Vailea said the investigation was ongoing.

While there have not been any new clues, they are now turning to counterparts in Australia and New Zealand for help in figuring out the mystery.

After two fishermen made the discovery of the human head wrapped in a sack and anchored to the seabed, at around 3:00 am on Christmas morning, 25 December, a homicide investigation was launched.

Then, after a port-mortem report in the second week of January, the Police ruled out homicide, while they continued investigating the possiblity that the head was removed from a deceased's body and taken from a grave, possibly by people with supernatural beliefs.

Deputy Commissioner Vailea told Matangi Tonga they had asked Australia and New Zealand for help to get ahead in the investigation. "We asked them to look into their death records, and morgues. We are considering the possibility that the human head is from a foreign country."

Meanwhile, Tonga Police have not been able to get to the bottom of the case, even working together with town officers and communities in Tongatapu.

“Death records can provide information that may draw this case into a conclusion,” he said.