Two men have confessed to killing British journalist and indigenous guide, Brazilian media report

·2-min read
 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

Two brothers arrested in connection with the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and his Brazilian guide Bruno Pereira have confessed to killing and dismembering them, according to Brazilian media.

CNN Brasil and Band News reported the two Brazilian men made the statements on Wednesday, however police have not confirmed the alleged confessions.

Brazilian federal police said they were still searching for Mr Phillips, 57, and Brazilian indigenous expert Mr Pereira, 41, in what they described as a murder investigation.

Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, 41, was on Wednesday arrested in connection with his disappearance.

His brother Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, also known as Pelado, has also been named as a suspect and was arrested last week for allegedly carrying a firearm without a permit.

Pelado, 41, is thought to have been among a group of men who threatened the missing pair near an indigenous territory on June 4.

Witnesses told Reuters News Agency that they saw police take a masked and hooded man out on the river where the men vanished.

The men’s family have denied they had any role in Mr Phillips and Mr Pereria’s disappearance.

A supporter shows her emotion at a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira, a British journalist and an Indigenous affairs official who are missing in the Amazon (PA) (PA Wire)
A supporter shows her emotion at a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira, a British journalist and an Indigenous affairs official who are missing in the Amazon (PA) (PA Wire)

Public defenders representing the brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira vanished from a remote part of the Amazon last week and are believed to have last been seen early on June 5 in the Sao Rafael community.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply concerned” about Mr Phillips’ disapperance after Theresa May urged ministers to do “everything they can” to uncover the truth about the case.

Mr Johnson told MPs: “FCDO officials are working closely now with the Brazilian authorities, the minister responsible has raised the issue repeatedly on the search and rescue effort with Brazil’s justice and public security minister.

“We have told the Brazilians that we stand ready to provide all the support that they may need.”

It comes after the Brazilian ambassador to the UK apologised to Mr Phillips’ family after they were incorrectly told his body had been found.

Mauruna, Matis and Canamari indigenous groups search for the missing pair (AFP via Getty Images)
Mauruna, Matis and Canamari indigenous groups search for the missing pair (AFP via Getty Images)

According to The Guardian, the family received a call from an aide to the ambassador early on Monday saying their bodies had been discovered tied to trees in the rainforest.

However, Mr Phillips’ brother-in-law, Paul Sherwood, confirmed to the PA news agency on Tuesday that ambassador Fred Arruda had written to the family to say the statement was incorrect.

Mr Arruda said: “We are deeply sorry the embassy passed on to the family yesterday information that did not prove correct.”

He went on to say the embassy had been “misled” by information it had received from “investigating officials”.

Mr Arruda insisted: “The search operation will go on, with no efforts being spared.”

He added: “Our thoughts remain with Dom, Bruno, yourselves and the other members of both families.”

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