Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday (June 13) that human remains had been discovered during the search for British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. Both disappeared a week ago in the Amazon after receiving threats.
As quoted by AFP news agency, Bolsonaro said: “The evidence leads us to believe that something wrong was done to them, as human entrails were found floating in the river, which are currently undergoing DNA testing. “.
Earlier today, Phillips’ niece, Dominique Davies, told AFP that “two bodies were found” during a search. The bodies were assumed to be of Phillips and Pereira. However, police had denied this and said they had so far discovered personal items belonging to the couple.
A Guardian report also mentions that the family have been informed that bodies believed to be those of Phillips and Pereira have been found. The report mentions that an aide to the Brazilian ambassador to the UK informed Phillips’ family in a phone call on Monday morning.
As quoted by the outlet, Paul Sherwood, Phillips’ brother-in-law, said: “He said he wanted us to know that…they found two bodies.”
“He didn’t describe the place and just said it was in the rainforest and he said they were tied to a tree and hadn’t been identified yet,” Sherwood said. .
Phillips, 57, a veteran correspondent, and Pereira, a 41-year-old respected indigenous scholar, went missing on June 5. The families anxiously await news of their fate.
The pair disappeared while on a reporting trip to Brazil’s Javari Valley, a remote region of jungle plagued by illegal fishing, logging, mining and drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the police have arrested a suspect in the case. Amarildo Costa de Oliveira, 41, nicknamed “Pelado”, was arrested in connection with the case. Locals said they saw him threaten Phillips and Pereira and then chase their boat with his just before they disappeared.
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Post expires at 4:06pm on Thursday June 23rd, 2022