Canadian hostage John Ridsdel has been killed by terrorists in the Phillippines and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is outraged and that Canada will work to hunt down those responsible.

Ridsdel, 68, was kidnapped last September along with another Canadian, Robert Hall, a Norwegian man and a Filipino woman.

The four were taken from a southern Philippine resort and marina and security footage showed the kidnappers forcing them off the dock at gunpoint.  

The kidnappers, militants from the terror group Abu Sayyaf, released a video on April 15 of Ridsdel and Hall asking the Canadian government to pay their ransom.

The pair warned that they would be beheaded if a ransom of $8 M each was not paid by 3:00 p.m. Monday.

Officials in the Phillippines confirmed that a severed head was found in a plastic bag on a street in the town of Jolo on Monday.

Prime Minister Trudeau was in the Kananaskis and said that the safety of Canadians is a top priority and vowed to work with the Phillippines and other allies “to pursue those responsible for this heinous act.”

“This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests solely with the terrorist group that took him hostage,” said Trudeau.

In a statement, Ridsdel's family said they'd done everything they could to bring him home and that he will be deeply missed.

“Our family is devastated at the loss of our father and brother John Ridsdel whose life was cut tragically short by this senseless act of violence despite us doing everything within our power to bring him home.

“John was a kind and gregarious person who touched everyone he knew with his enthusiasm and generosity. He loved life and lived it to the fullest with his family and friends at the centre. He was loved by all his friends and adored by his daughters, sister, and extended family.

“He will be sorely missed for all our days to come.”

In his early career, Ridsdel worked as a reporter for the Calgary Herald and CBC and eventually retired from Calgary-based TVI Pacific to travel the world.  

Childhood friend Tony Pargeter spoke to CTV News from his Lethbridge home and said Ridsdel was likely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“They were trying to abduct some westerners from a marina.  There were 24 boats there, they took people from two boats that happened to be close to the dock or to the land.  They took the manager of the marina who’d come down to see what was going on.  As far as we understand, John came out of his boat, hearing people in distress and probably wanting to help them and they grabbed him,” said Pargeter. “Some other people got away, so it was probably just bad luck that he got grabbed.”

 The prime minister offered his condolences to the family but said further commenting could “compromise ongoing efforts or endanger the safety of the remaining hostages.”

Rona Ambrose, interim Conservative leader, issued a statement Monday calling Ridsdel’s killing “shocking and saddening” and offering her condolences to his loved ones.

(With files from Terry Vogt and