A Briton has been arrested in Portugal after he allegedly stabbed a fellow countryman to death during a social media suicide game.
The 26-year-old is suspected of attacking the 35-year-old victim after a row broke out between a group of friends while they played the Blue Whale suicide game.
The social media phenomenon has been linked to several deaths around the world since 2016.
Both men, who have not been named, were said to have been part of a larger group of around half a dozen British people who had been living in an “off-grid” community in the area and were due to fly back to the UK in about a week’s time.
The victim’s body was discovered by police on Sunday in a remote woodland between Poco Negro and Soalheira, near the central town of Pedrogao Grande.
It is believed the suspect and other Britons who were questioned by police attended a party at a campsite inside the community grounds before leaving to go to nearby woodland outside, where the stabbing took place.
The suspect is said to have later handed himself in to a police station, accompanied by two other people who witnessed the incident.
The knife he allegedly used is said to have been recovered at the scene after they went with officers to the remote woodland spot where the British man’s body was found.
Detectives questioned three men and two women on Sunday, who are said to be part of a group of UK and Dutch citizens living in the commune near the crime scene.
Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria force, which is leading the investigation, has not yet released a comment.
But a well-placed source confirmed the suspect has been arrested, while the circumstances and motive are still under investigation.
Xavier Hancock and his Madrid-born partner Arantxa Atauri have owned the community site, Libelinha Venture, since 2017.
However, there is no suggestion they had any involvement in the events leading up to the stabbing.
Another police source said: “A group of about half a dozen people the suspect and dead man were part of were staying at a campsite near to the place where the victim’s body was found.
“It appears they had attended a party there earlier that night before leaving to head for the woodland where the stabbing happened.”
Portuguese broadcaster SIC reported the group often held parties and played the Blue Whale game - a social media trend in which players join a “group” and are assigned a series of tasks over a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to take their own life.
Initial reports said the stabbing had occurred during an argument after the group started playing the suicide game.
But the source said: “The friends who raised the alarm early on Sunday morning told police they had been playing the game but there was no evidence of that in the initial inquiries officers made before the full investigation started.”
A post-mortem examination was taking place on Monday and investigations are ongoing.