Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, one of the suspects who murdered Bruno Pereira & Dom Phillips, has finally confessed to killing them.
Police said at a news conference in the Amazon city of Manaus that the prime suspect in the case confessed Tuesday night and detailed what happened to the pair who went missing June 5.
How Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, murdered Bruno Pereira & Dom Phillips
The federal investigator, Eduardo Alexandre Fontes, said Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, nicknamed Pelado, told officers he used a firearm to kill Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira of Brazil and freelance reporter Dom Phillips of Britain.
“We would have no way of getting to that spot quickly without the confession,” Torres said of the place where police recovered human remains Wednesday after being led there by Pelado.
Torres said the remains are expected to be identified within days, and if confirmed as the missing men, “will be returned to the families of the two.”
“We found the bodies three kilometers (nearly two miles) into the woods,” the investigator said, adding that rescue teams traveled about one hour and forty minutes on the river and 25 more into the woods to reach the burial spot.
Pelado’s family had said previously that he denied any wrongdoing and claimed police tortured him to try to get a confession.
Another officer, Guilherme Torres of the Amazonas state police, said the missing men’s boat had not been found yet but police knew the area where it purportedly was hidden by those involved in the crime.
“They put bags of dirt on the boat so it would sink,” he said. The engine of the boat was removed, according to investigators.
The news conference at Brazil’s federal police headquarters in Manaus also included military leaders, who joined the effort to find Phillips and Pereira a few days after their disappearance was reported.
Pereira, 41, and Phillips, 57, 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.