A German kidnapped by Somali pirates eight years ago may now be held captive by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines, the country’s military said Monday after finding the man’s yacht and a woman’s body inside.

Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali had claimed the militants kidnapped Jurgen Gustav Kantner and killed his female companion while the couple were cruising off neighboring Malaysia’s Sabah state.

It’s not clear why the woman was purportedly killed, but it’s possible she may have fought back or tried to escape, Tan and another military official said.

Villagers reported finding a dead woman lying beside a shotgun on board a light blue yacht with the German flag and marked “Rockall” off Laparan Island in Sulu province, Tan said. The southern province is where ransom-seeking militants have held many hostages in tropical jungle encampments.

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Image courtesy of BBC