‘Human’ remains found in Amazon where British journalist Dom Phillips was last seen – World News

The “organic material” will be sent for forensic analysis along with blood found on a suspect’s boat, which will be compared to genetic material from journalist Dom Phillips and his traveling companion, Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira

Journalist Dom Phillips
A five-day police investigation has been ongoing into Dom Phillips’ disappearance

Brazilian search teams have found what appears to be human remains in the river where a British journalist was last seen in the Amazon rainforest, police said on Friday.

Dom Phillips and his traveling companion Bruno Pereira, an Indigenous expert, went missing last Sunday in an extremely remote area of ​​Brazil, near the borders of Peru and Colombia.

Now, on day five of the investigation into her disappearance, “organic material” along with blood on a suspect’s boat is being sent for forensic analysis, federal police said.

A Brazilian judge had ordered the suspect, a fisherman charged with illegal possession of restricted ammunition, to be held for another 30 days while police investigate if he is involved, according to a lawyer for a local indigenous group.

State Judge Jacinta Silva dos Santos said the case was closed and she could not comment on whether further audiences were planned for fisherman Amarildo da Costa, known locally as “Pelado”.

Police have seized “organic material” which is being sent for forensic analysis


AFP via Getty Images)

Police said Costa was one of the last people to see Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira on Sunday when they went missing after visiting the riverside fishing community of Sao Gabriel.

Eliesio Morubo, the lawyer for the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley, said the judge agreed to keep the fisherman jailed for 30 days because the case concerned a possible “heinous crime” such as murder and hiding bodies.

State police officers involved in the investigation have told Reuters that they are focusing on poachers and illegal fishermen in the area, who frequently clashed with Mr Pereira as he organized indigenous patrols of the local reserve.

Costa’s lawyers and family said he fished the river legally and denied he had any role in the men’s disappearance.

The prosecutor’s office confirmed that Costa is being held in police custody while authorities investigate whether he was involved in the case.

Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira is a senior official at the state-run indigenous agency Funai



Witnesses said they last saw Mr Phillips, a freelance reporter who has written for the Guardian and Washington Post, on Sunday.

His companion, Pereira, an expert on local tribes, had been a senior official at the Funai indigenous government agency.

The two men were on a reporting trip to the remote jungle area on the Peru-Colombia border, home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted tribal peoples.

The wild and lawless region has attracted gangs of cocaine smugglers, as well as illegal loggers, miners and hunters.

The couple’s disappearance has sparked global repercussions. Brazilian icons from soccer star Pele to singer Caetano Veloso joined politicians, environmentalists and human rights activists in urging President Jair Bolsonaro to step up the search for them.

State Police detectives and rescue teams search the Amazon rainforest near the border with Peru



After criticizing the government for withdrawing in the crucial early days of the case, Mr Bolsonaro said at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Friday that Brazilian forces were working “tirelessly” to locate the two men.

The streets of Atalaia do Norte, the largest town on the river near where the men were last seen, have been packed with soldiers in camouflaged trucks for the past few days, along with the distant sound of helicopters that were absent earlier this week were.

As of Friday, about 150 soldiers were deployed in riverboats to search for the missing men and interview locals.

Indigenous search teams have been searching for the couple since Sunday, Marubo said.

A witness saw a boat with police officers and firefighters conducting dives in a murky area of ​​vegetation on the edge of the Itacoa River and preparing a canoe to search the shallows.

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