A third suspect has been arrested in the deaths of British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, who disappeared earlier this month while conducting research for a book project on a remote region in the Amazon.
Brazil’s federal police on Saturday confirmed Jefferson da Silva Lima, known as Pelado da Dinh, turned himself in at a police station in Atalaia do Norte in the Amazon. It comes after Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira earlier this week confessed to killing the missing pair, and then took authorities to where their remains had been buried.
His brother, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, was also arrested in connection with the case. They are both being held in a federal facility.
Authorities on Saturday also confirmed a set of remains found Wednesday in Brazil’s remote Amazon are those of 41-year-old Pereira, a day after additional remains found at the site near the city of Atalaia do Norte were identified as belonging to 57-year-old Phillips. They were last seen alive on June 5 in Sao Gabriel, a riverside village near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory bordering Peru and Colombia.
Police said Phillips was shot in the chest with a “firearm with typical hunting ammunition” while Pereira was struck in the head and abdomen. Both bodies on Thursday were transported to the capital city of Brasilia for forensic examinations.
Phillips was reportedly identified based on his dental records.
“We are grateful to all those who have taken part in the search, especially the indigenous groups who worked tirelessly to find evidence of the attack,” Phillips’ family said in a statement to BBC after the remains were recovered.
“We thank the many people who have joined us in urging the authorities to intensify the search and those who have reached out with words of comfort and sympathy.”
With News Wire Services
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