Brazil’s Police confirm body was that of Phillips
Brazil’s Federal Police Friday confirmed the remains flown to Brasilia from Amazonia belonged to British reporter journalist Dom Phillips, who was murdered earlier this month along with local indigenist expert Bruno Araújo Pereira.
Phillip’s body was identified through an examination of legal odontology combined with forensic anthropology. Medical examiners must now determine whether the other remains are those of Araújo Pereira.
The researchers must also delve into the possible causes of the deaths, as well as for the indication of the dynamics of the crime and the concealment of the bodies, according to a Federal Police statement.
Phillips, a contributor to The Guardian, and Araújo Pereira had been missing since June 5 and were last seen when they were sailing in a boat in a remote area near the border with Colombia and Peru.
Two fishermen operating in that region were arrested in connection with the disappearances and one of them finally confessed to the murders Wednesday and led authorities to a remote spot where the bodies had been buried. Human remains were found there and then taken to Brasilia for analysis to confirm the victims’ identities.
The Federal Police report hinted the perpetrators seemed to have acted alone, although further arrests were made since other people appear to have been involved to a lesser extent.
Araújo Pereira, an official of the National Indian Foundation (Funai) on leave, had been the target of several threats from illegal fishermen, loggers, and drug traffickers.
Fisherman Amarildo Da Costa Oliveira, alias Pelado, who confessed to murdering Phillips, also told authorities that the boat in which Phillips and Araújo Pereira were traveling had been sunk with weights to prevent it from being found.