- Alan McMenemy was one of five Britons kidnapped in Baghdad in May 2007
- Britain's Foreign Ministry says his body was "returned" Friday
- His wife says the news "will allow us to properly grieve for him"
- McMenemy is one of four of the hostages who died, while one was freed
The body of a British man kidnapped nearly five years ago in Iraq has been recovered, closing the books on a saga that included the deaths of three other men and the release of one.
Alan McMenemy's body was "returned today," the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Friday in a written statement. With this news, his wife said that "we now know that we will shortly have Alan home again."
"Our families have suffered terrible uncertainty and distress over the past four years and eight months," Roseleen McMenemy said in a statement released through the British ministry. "This will allow us to properly grieve for him, and we will draw some comfort from the fact that we (will) have him home at last."
McMenemy was one of five Britons -- along with Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst, Alan MacLachlan and Peter Moore -- seized May 29, 2007, from the Iraqi Finance Ministry in Baghdad by people posing as security forces and government workers on official business.
All but Moore -- who worked for the U.S.-based consulting firm BearingPoint -- were guards working for the Canadian security firm GardaWorld.
Creswell and Swindlehurst's bodies were handed over in June 2007, while MacLachlan's body was returned in September 2009. Moore was freed in the last few days of 2009, after two and a half years of captivity.
Around that time, then-British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that McMenemy was believed to be dead. But there was no definitive word on his fate until Friday's announcement.
A little known-group calling itself the Islamic Shiite Resistance of Iraq claimed to have been behind the kidnapping. His kidnappers released at least three videos allegedly showing the captives.