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Body of slain American hostage found

British hostage pleads for his life on video
The Hensley family's 1993 Christmas photograph, provided by Jack Hensley's brother, Ty.
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Ty Hensley talks about the fate of his brother Jack Hensley.

CNN's Walter Rodgers on the apparent killing of Jack Hensley.

Two Iraqi women are being held by the U.S. military.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. officials have positively identified the body of a second American beheaded this week by insurgents in Iraq, the man's family said Wednesday.

Officials notified the family on what would have been his 49th birthday that Jack Hensley's headless body had been found by Iraqi police.

A group loyal to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi posted a message Tuesday on an Islamist Web site saying Hensley had been killed.

The news came a day after the same Web site featured video that showed the beheading of Hensley's American colleague, Eugene "Jack" Armstrong, 52.

The third man kidnapped Thursday, Briton Kenneth Bigley, appeared Wednesday in a video on an Islamist Web site tearfully pleading for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help spare his life.

"Please, please help me," Bigley begged. "I need you to help me, Mr. Blair, because you are the only person now on God's earth that I can speak to."

Armstrong, Hensley and Bigley were kidnapped last week in Baghdad. The men were working on Iraqi reconstruction projects for Gulf Supplies and Commercial Services, a United Arab Emirates-based company.

Hensley's brother Ty told CNN's "American Morning" that he wanted "to let the world know who Jack Hensley was."

"His story will be out for a day or two, but the pain is going to be suffered for generations in my family," he said, describing his brother as "an extraordinarily innocent man" who became friends with the Iraqis with whom he worked.

"I've received so many e-mails from Iraqi folks that he worked with. They are devastated."

Hensley's wife, Pati, had made repeated pleas for her husband's life and the lives of his two colleagues.

"These were three gentlemen who had absolutely no agenda other than to enrich the lives of the people they were there to help, and to take their lives would serve no real purpose," she said Monday.

In its Web posting Tuesday, the Unification and Jihad group, led by al-Zarqawi, had a stern message for President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.

"The Muslim blood is not water, and the honor of Muslim women won't go to waste. Bush, eat your heart out, and Blair, may you cry with tears of blood. God is great. Glory be to him, his prophet and the faithful," the message said.

The group has said it also beheaded U.S. businessman Nicholas Berg, South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and two Bulgarian hostages.

The captors are demanding the release of female prisoners held by the U.S. military in two Iraqi prisons.

Iraq's national security adviser said three detainees, including two high-profile women, would be released soon because no charges were being brought against them.

However, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said that neither female prisoner held by U.S. authorities would be released imminently. (Full story)

The al-Zarqawi group said it killed Hensley after a 24-hour deadline passed without its demands being met.

"Thank God, the lions of the Tawhid and Jihad have slaughtered the second American hostage at the expiration of the set deadline," the message said. "The British hostage will face the same fate unless the British government does what's necessary to free him."

After analysis of Monday's beheading video, a CIA official said there is "high confidence" the voice on the tape is al-Zarqawi's. The militant has ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

The CIA routinely conducts a technical analysis of tapes made public by terrorists, comparing voices with other samples known to be of those in question.

The voice on the recent tape matches that of al-Zarqawi on other recordings, the official said.

"I think this is possibly my last chance to speak to somebody who will listen," Bigley, 62, said in the 11-minute video. "I don't want to die here."

In London, Bigley's brother, Philip Bigley, has asked Blair to take action.

"We feel absolutely helpless," he said.

"We do not have the power to save Ken's life. ... The only person we can now beg to help us is the prime minister. Who else can we ask? There is nobody," he said.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has spoken with the Bigley family a few times, a spokesman in the British Foreign Office said, declining to go into detail.

Asked about the family's plea for intervention, the spokesman said, "The government would not change its stance. We do not negotiate with terrorists." The United States has the same policy.

CNN's Caroline Faraj, Thaira al-Hilli, Bassem Muhy, Faris Qasira and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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