DALLAS (AP) – The remains of two U.S. contractors kidnapped in Iraq more than a year ago have been recovered, the FBI said yesterday, weeks after families of several long-missing men gained hope that they might be found alive.

Ronald Withrow of Roaring Springs, Texas, and John Roy Young of Kansas City, Mo., were among six Western contractors kidnapped separately. The disappearances received new attention this month when the severed fingers of several men were sent to the U.S. military in Iraq.

Several relatives had taken the discovery of the fingers as a hopeful sign, including the father of Jonathon Cote, who remains missing.

“We feel very sad that this is how it turned out. We wish it turned out a better way,” Francis Cote said from his home in Getzville, N.Y., near Buffalo.

Cote said he had spoken to the families of Withrow and Young. He said that he was holding out hope his son is still alive but that the discovery of the bodies dampened those hopes.

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