Brazil’s federal police arrested a second suspect in connection with the disappearance of a British journalist and an Indigenous expert in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest.
The second suspect, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, 41, is the brother of Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a man who is considered as the main suspect in the case.
Missing British journalist Dom Phillips, a regular contributor to the Guardian and Washington Post, and Bruno Pereira were last seen on June 5 passing through a lawless region of the Amazon rainforest by boat.
On Tuesday, police seized ammunition and an oar in the village of Sao Gabriel, where the two men were last seen. Cops did not say why the items were confiscated, who they belonged to or where they were found.
Prior to his own arrest, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira claimed police were torturing his brother Amarildo — known locally as “Pelado” — to try to force a confession out of him. His brother was arrested and detained on Friday.
The search for the missing men was nearing the end on Tuesday, as the area left to search grew smaller toward the end of the day, according to Eliesio Marubo, a lawyer for the indigenous group, UNIVAJA.
Marubo said indigenous searchers tipped off the authorities after discovering traces of the men in the area, helping to focus the search.
“We understand that we are heading toward the end. The search area has been further reduced,” he said.
On Monday, search parties made up of the army, navy, federal police, civil defense, firefighters, and military police discovered a backpack, laptop, and other personal items submerged in a river.
The items were taken by federal officers by boat to Atalaia do Norte, the closest city to the search where investigations are taking place.
After analyzing the items, police confirmed they belonged to the missing men, including Pereira’s health card and clothes.
Police said the backpack — which was also found tied to a tree by a river — belongs to Phillips.
Last week’s developments saw police find traces of blood on a boat belonging to the main suspect.
The investigation has picked up global attention, with the world’s most famous celebrities, lawmakers and sports stars calling for more to be done to find the missing men.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, soccer legend Pelé and US President Biden are among the notable names urging the Brazilian government to intensify search efforts.
With Post wires