Authorities in the Philippines are investigating the suspicious death of an Australian priest found floating in a river, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Police said Douglas Leslie Rowe, 69, was found in a river near the village of Can-asuhan, in Carcar City, on the island of Cebu.
Father Rowe, of the Perth suburb of Midland, was the founder of the Patrist Societies of the Sons and Daughters of God the Father church. The group, under the Archdiocese of Perth, has built up congregations in the Philippines and Kenya.
Police say just before his death, Father Rowe was inspecting land the church was interested in buying with Sister Jan Rebutaso and an estate broker, Sunshine Hoyo. He was alive when they left him near the river.
''Father Rowe told the two women to take a picture of the land, and when they returned they saw the body of the priest floating in the river,'' police spokesman Vicente Garces jnr said, citing an investigator's report. ''His undergarments were below his knees.''
Mr Garces said police were waiting for the results of an autopsy to see if Father Rowe was attacked or died of natural causes.