BRASILIA ( Associated Press) – A third suspect in the Amazon killings of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira has been arrested, Brazil’s federal police said on Saturday. According to an autopsy, two people whose remains were found two weeks after they were reported missing were shot dead.
Police said in a statement that Phillips was shot in the chest and Perera in the head and abdomen. He said the autopsy indicated the use of “a shotgun with specific hunting ammunition”.
Police said the third suspect, identified as Jefferson da Silva Lima and known as Pelado da Dinha, turned himself into a police station in Atalia do Norte in the Amazon.
Police said the suspect would be taken into custody for trial.
Two others are already in prison for their alleged involvement in the murders: Amarildo Oliveira, known as Pellado, and his brother Oseni de Oliveira, known as dos Santos.
Phillips and Pereira were last seen on their boat on June 5 on the Itacai River, near the entrance to the Javari Valley indigenous region, which borders Peru and Colombia.
Federal police said on Friday that human remains found in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon have been identified as that of 57-year-old Phillips.
According to a police statement released on Saturday, the other remains found at the site near the town of Atalia do Norte belonged to Pereira, a 41-year-old indigenous specialist.
The remains were found on Wednesday, after fisherman Pelado confessed to killing two men and took police to the spot where he may have buried the bodies. He told the officers that he had used a firearm to carry out the crime.
The remains arrived in the capital Brasilia on Thursday for examination by forensic experts.
The area where Phillips and Pereira disappeared has been the scene of violent clashes between fishermen, poachers and government agents.