Brazil Identifies Remains as Those of British Journalist

Suspect admitted shooting two men who disappeared, police say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2022 12:29 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2022 4:25 PM CDT
We May Know What Happened to Missing Brazil Duo
Federal police officers arrive at the pier with recovered human remains found during a search for Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira of Brazil and freelance reporter Dom Phillips of Britain, in Atalaia do Norte, Amazonas state, Brazil, Wednesday, June 15, 2022.   (AP Photo/Edmar Barros)

(Newser) Update: Brazilian authorities confirmed Friday that remains found in the Amazon were those of British journalist Dom Phillips. A search for Phillips, 57, and Bruno Pereira, 41, a Brazilian indigenous expert, had been conducted for more than a week. A suspect who admitted shooting the men led investigators to the remains of two people, per the AP; the remains of the second person were not yet identified, federal police said. Our story from Wednesday follows:

One of the two brothers arrested in connection with the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in a remote part of the Amazon has confessed to fatally shooting the men, police say. Amarildo and Oseney da Costa de Oliveira were both arrested, days apart, per the Guardian. Police say Amarildo "recounted in detail the crime that was committed and indicated the place where he buried the bodies." He also reportedly took police to a site where authorities dug up human remains; their identities will be confirmed with help from Interpol. The other brother, Oseney, claims he was not involved, the BBC reports. Police expect more arrests to follow.

"Although we are still awaiting definitive confirmations, this tragic outcome puts an end to the anguish of not knowing Dom and Bruno's whereabouts," Phillips' wife says in a statement. "Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love. Today, we also begin our quest for justice. I hope that the investigations exhaust all possibilities and bring definitive answers on all relevant details as soon as possible." A motive is still being investigated, but indigenous groups say that days before they vanished, Pereira was threatened for fighting illegal fishing in the region. Univaja, the local indigenous association, said in a statement that it "understands their murder is a political crime, they were both human rights defenders and died doing work to look after us indigenous people from Vale do Javari." (Read more Brazil stories.)

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