Brazil police: Suspect confessed and led officers to two buried bodies in Amazon

16 June 2022, 01:44

A federal police officer escorts a suspect towards a river in the area where Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and freelance British journalist Dom Phillips disappeared
Brazil Amazon. Picture: PA

The announcement came shortly after Brazil’s justice minister said police had found human remains in their Amazon search.

Brazil’s federal police say a suspect has confessed his responsibility in the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and led officers to where their bodies were buried.

Police investigator, officer Eduardo Alexandre Torres, told a news conference on Wednesday evening that the prime suspect in the case had detailed what happened to the pair who went missing on June 5.

Mr Torres said the suspect confessed to “the crime” without specifying exactly what was admitted, but he added that the man took police to a spot on Wednesday where they recovered human remains.

Brazil Amazon
A federal police officer escorts a suspect towards a river in the area where Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and freelance British journalist Dom Phillips disappeared (Edmar Barros/AP)

The remains had not yet been positively identified, Mr Torres said.

“We found the bodies three kilometres (nearly two miles) into the woods,” the investigator said.

He said other arrests would be made soon.

The announcement came shortly after Brazil’s justice minister said police had found human remains in their Amazon search, but they had not yet been identified.

Mr Torres said the human remains were found in a remote part of the Amazon near where the British journalist indigenous expert Bruno Pereira disappeared on June 5.

“I have just been informed by the federal police that ‘human remains have been found at the place where there digging was being made.’” he said on Twitter. “Those will be submitted to forensics.”

Earlier on Wednesday day officers had taken the suspect to toward search parties looking for Mr Phillips, 57, and Mr Pereira, 41.

Colleagues of Mr Pereira called a vigil outside the headquarters of the Brazilian government’s indigenous affairs agency in Brasilia.

The indigenous expert was on leave from the agency when he disappeared on June 5 while travelling with Mr Phillips, a British freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper.

They were last seen on their boat in a river near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory, which borders Peru and Colombia. That area has seen violent conflicts between fishermen, poachers and government agents.

An Associated Press photographer in Atalaia do Norte witnessed police taking the suspect, who was in a hood, on a boat.

By Press Association

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