Dom Phillips: Police arrest third suspect over death of British journalist

·2-min read
Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira (Joao Laet/AP) (AP)
Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira (Joao Laet/AP) (AP)

A third suspect has been arrested over the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips, police have said.

Mr Phillips, 57, and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, 41, went missing in the Amazon on June 5.

Brazilian police identified the British national’s remains on Friday after the prime suspect confessed to killing the Guardian writer and his travelling companion.

Police said Jefferson da Silva Lima, known as Pelado da Dinha, turned himself at the police station in Atalaia do Norte in the Amazon and is the third suspect linked to the death of the pair.

Police said the suspect will be referred to a custody hearing.

Two other men are already in prison for alleged involvement in the killings: Amarildo Oliveira, known as Pelado, and his brother, Oseney de Oliveira, known as Dos Santos.

Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were last seen June 5 on their boat on the Itaquai river, near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory, which borders Peru and Colombia.

Phillips was shot in the chest and Pereira was shot in the head and the abdomen, police said in a statement.

The autopsy indicated the use of a “firearm with typical hunting ammunition”, they said.

On Friday, federal police said that human remains found in Brazil’s remote Amazon have been identified as belonging to Phillips.

Additional remains found at the site near the city of Atalaia do Norte were confirmed to belong to Indigenous expert Pereira, according to the police statement on Saturday.

The remains were found on Wednesday, after fisherman Pelado confessed to killing the pair, and took police to the place where he would have buried the bodies. He told officers that he used a firearm to commit the crime.

The remains had arrived in the capital city of Brasilia on Thursday for forensic examinations.

The area where Phillips and Pereira went missing has seen violent conflicts between fishermen, poachers, and government agents.

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