RIO DE JANEIRO. A third person was arrested on Saturday in connection with the murder of a British journalist and a Brazilian indigenous expert who went missing deep in the Amazon almost two weeks ago, police said, before sharing gruesome details about how the couple was murdered.
The disappearance of Dom Phillips, 57, a freelance journalist, and Bruno Araujo Pereira, 41, a former government official who worked in the area to combat illegal fishing, hunting and mining, prompted a 10-day search and then a manhunt in Brazilian densely populated areas. Atlantic rainforest.
An analysis of human remains found in the area earlier this week determined that they were those of Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira.
Mr. Phillips was shot in the chest, the federal police said in a statement on Saturday, adding that Mr. Pereira was hit in the head and stomach. According to a police statement, the men were killed with “firearms with typical hunting cartridges”.
Jefferson da Silva Lima turned himself in at a police station in Atalaya do Norte in the Amazon on Saturday after initially fleeing an arrest warrant. Authorities had previously arrested two brothers, Amarildo and Autumn da Costa de Oliveira, in connection with the disappearance of the men.
Earlier this week, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira confessed to killing the men and led police to where their remains were buried in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest.
By Saturday evening, none of the three arrested had been charged.
Witnesses saw the de Oliveira brothers in a boat following Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira shortly before they disappeared into a distant river, according to investigative documents seen by The New York Times. A day earlier, the brothers had threatened the group, which included Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira, by showing them a gun, according to local indigenous group Univaja.
Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira were last seen on June 5 traveling by boat on the Ithacuai River in the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas, close to the borders with Peru and Colombia.
Mr. Phillips traveled to the Javari Valley Indigenous Reservation to interview local patrol teams that are cracking down on illegal fishing and hunting. Mr. Pereira helped create these patrols, and his work has made him enemies among the criminal fishermen, poachers and miners in the region. Mr. Phillips was working on a book during the trip, and the two men were on their way home when they disappeared.