Amazon dead: Brazilian police arrest third suspect

BRAZIL, Brazil –

Brazil’s federal police said on Saturday that a third suspect in the deaths of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira has been arrested. The couple, whose remains were found after going missing almost two weeks ago, were shot dead, according to an autopsy.

Phillips was shot in the chest and Pereira was shot in the head and abdomen, police said in a statement. It said the autopsy indicated the use of a “firearm with typical hunting ammunition”.

Police said the third suspect, Jefferson da Silva Lima, known as Pelado da Dinha, turned around at the police station in Atalaia do Norte in the Amazon.

Police said the suspect will be referred to a custody hearing.

Two other men are already in prison for alleged involvement in the murders: Amarildo Oliveira, known as Pelado, and his brother, Oseney de Oliveira, known as Dos Santos.

Phillips and Pereira were last seen on their boat on June 5 on the Itaquai River, near the entrance to the indigenous area of ​​the Javari Valley, which borders Peru and Colombia.

On Friday, federal police said human remains found in Brazil’s remote Amazon region have been identified as belonging to 57-year-old Phillips.

According to Saturday’s police statement, it has been confirmed that additional remains found at the site near the town of Atalaia do Norte belonged to indigenous expert Pereira, 41.

The remains were found Wednesday after fisherman Pelado confessed to killing the couple and leading police to where he is believed to have buried the bodies. He told officers he had used a firearm to commit the crime.

The remains had arrived in the capital Brasilia on Thursday for forensic examination.

In the area where Phillips and Pereira went missing, there have been violent clashes between fishermen, poachers and government officials.