Missing British journalist’s family apologize after being told his body has been found

Dom Phillips and his traveling companion were last seen on June 5 when Brazilian authorities wrongly told family members that their bodies had been found tied to a tree

Brazil has'spared no effort' in the search for missing Brit Dom Phillips.
Brazil has ‘spared no effort’ in the search for missing Brit Dom Phillips.

Authorities wrongly told Dom Phillips’ family that his body had been found and the Brazilian ambassador to the UK was forced to write an apology.

Phillips, 57, and his travel partner Bruno Pereira, 41, went missing in a remote part of the Amazon last week, with the family being told their bodies were found tied to trees in the rainforest.

According to reports in the GuardianPhillips’ family received a call on June 13 to inform them of the discovery, but officials only suspected the bodies belonged to the missing men and never confirmed their identities.

Dom Phillips disappeared with Bruno Pereira on June 5 in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest

However, Phillips’ brother-in-law Paul Sherwood confirmed that Ambassador Fred Arruda had written to the family saying the statement was false.

Arruda said: “We deeply regret that the embassy released information to the family yesterday that turned out to be incorrect.”

He said the embassy was “misled” by information it received from “investigators.”

Arruda added: “The search operation is continuing without any effort being spared. Our thoughts remain with Dom, Bruno, you and the other members of both families.”

Brazil Federal Police said the latest development in the search for the two men is the discovery of their personal belongings.

Search teams believed they had discovered human remains in the Itaquai River on June 11



In a statement, they said the items included a backpack and a pair of Phillips boots, as well as a medical card, black pants, a black sandal and a pair of Pereira boots.

Separate reports surfaced on June 11 that police had discovered human matter in the Itaquai River near the port of Atalaia do Norte.

Authorities previously said blood found on a suspect’s boat had been sent for analysis.

Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, also known as Pelado, was previously named a suspect and arrested for allegedly carrying a firearm without a permit, a common practice in the area.

Police did not explain why he was being treated as a suspect, but it is believed he was among a group of men who threatened the missing men near an indigenous territory on June 4.

Phillips and Pereira disappeared on June 5 while returning from a four-day trip to the Javari region of the Amazon.

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