Philippe Verdon: Body of French hostage appears to have been found in Mali

The body of French hostage Philippe Verdon, who was announced killed by his al Qaeda captors in March, appears to have been found in Mali.

According to a member of the investigating team, tests are currently being done to verify that the body found in early July is indeed that of Verdon.

Verdon, who was kidnapped by the al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was taken from a hotel while on business in northeastern Mali in November 2011.

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French authorities have yet to announce that Verdon was executed by AQIM as he was already in poor health when he was captured and could have succumbed to his illnesses, reported to be a double ulcer and hyperventilation.

During an interview on Sunday where it was announced that French journalists Didier Francois and Edouard Elias were still alive after being kidnapped last month in Syria, President Francois Hollande noted that there wasn't much hope left for Verdon.

"Alas, everything indicates that he has already been dead for several weeks," Hollande said in regards to Verdon.

While hope had all but been taken away when AQIM members announced Verdon's death on March 19, French authorities did not confirm the information then as there was no way to verify its truth.