Police on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea say they are investigating the toruture and killing of a man who was accused of practicing sorcery.
Albert Bute, from the Bana district village of Nokaia, was last week accused of causing the death of a woman three weeks ago.
The Central Bougainville regional police commander, Januarius Vosivai, says the woman's relatives then raided the village and set 13 houses alight before kidnapping Mr Bute and three others.
Mr Vosivai says Mr Bute was killed and the others held hostage, but he says one fled on foot and the police managed to negotiate the others' release.
"We explained to them that it wouldn't make any sense if they were going to kill the other two, so we managed to convince them."
Januarius Vosivai says people need to find ways to resolve their problems that don't involve resorting to violence.