British journalist’s wife says ‘we can say goodbye in love’ after remains found on Amazon
Brazil’s Justice Minister Anderson Torres said remains were found near where the couple disappeared on June 5. Police said a suspect led investigators to the location after the confession
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Dom Phillips’ wife said “now we can take them home and say goodbye in love” after human remains were found during the search for missing British journalist and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Anderson Torres said remains were found near where the couple disappeared on June 5. Police said a suspect led investigators to the location after confessing to the fatal shooting.
The remains have yet to be identified.
In a statement, Mr Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio, said: “While we are still awaiting definitive confirmations, this tragic result puts an end to the agony of not knowing Dom and Bruno’s whereabouts.
“Now we can take her home and say goodbye in love.
“Today we also begin our search for justice. I hope the investigation will exhaust all avenues and bring definitive answers on all relevant details as soon as possible.”
It comes after former Tory Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the UK must “do everything it can” to urge Brazilian authorities to uncover the truth about the disappearance.
Ms May made the plea to Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Wednesday after police arrested a second suspect linked to the case.
A suspect, a fisherman who clashed with Pereira over his efforts to combat illegal fishing in indigenous lands, led police to a remote burial site where the remains were being dug up, Detective Eduardo Fontes said at a news conference.
The news marks a somber conclusion to a case that has raised global alarms, imposed President Jair Bolsonaro at a regional summit and stoked concern in the UK Parliament.
Mr Phillips, a freelance reporter who has written for the Guardian and Washington Post, was researching a book about the trip with Mr Pereira.
FAMILY HANDBOOK/AFP via Getty Ima)
They were in a remote jungle area near the border of Colombia and Peru called the Javari Valley, which is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted tribal peoples. The region has been invaded by illegal fishermen, hunters, loggers and miners, and police say it is a key route for drug trafficking.
Police had previously identified fisherman Amarildo da Costa, known as “Pelado,” as the prime suspect, arrested last week for gun possession. His brother Oseney da Costa, 41, or “Dos Santos,” was taken into custody Tuesday night.
Detective Fontes told journalists the “first suspect” confessed and led police to the human remains, but the other suspect in custody denied any role despite incriminating evidence.
Police are investigating the involvement of a third person and further arrests are possible, he added.
The Costa brothers were seen meeting by the Itacoai River on June 5, just moments after Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira walked by, and they made their way to the riverside town of Atalaia do Norte, a said Federal police witness in a report verified by Reuters.
The police report also said witnesses heard Mr Pereira say he had received threats from Amarildo da Costa.
Mr. Pereira, a former official with the Funai Indigenous Affairs Agency, was instrumental in stopping illegal gold mining, fishing and poaching along rivers inhabited by indigenous tribes of the Javari Valley.
News of the men’s disappearance resonated around the world, with human rights organizations, environmentalists and members of the press urging Bolsonaro to intensify the search for a slow start.
Bolsonaro, who was once questioned harshly at a news conference over Mr Phillips’ weakening of environmental legislation, said last week that the two men were “on an adventure that is not recommended”.
On Wednesday, Bolsonaro suggested Mr Phillips had made enemies by writing on environmental issues.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brit-journalists-wife-says-we-27247267 British journalist's wife says 'we can say goodbye in love' after remains found on Amazon