Brasilia, Jun 17 (EFE).- Brazil’s Federal Police said Friday that one of two bodies found in the Amazonian jungle has been positively identified as that of British journalist Dom Phillips, who disappeared June 5 with indigenous guide Bruno Araujo Pereira.
Work continues to determine whether the other remains correspond to Pereira, the force said in a statement.
Medical examiners and forensic specialists are also trying to ascertain the exact causes of death, as well as “the dynamic” of the murders and the hiding of the bodies, the Federal Police said.
Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41, were last seen alive making their way by boat on the Javari River in a remote corner of Amazonia that borders Colombia and Peru.
Two illegal fisherman known to be active in the area were arrested and one of them, Amarildo Da Costa Oliveira “Pelado,” ultimately confessed to killing the two men and led authorities to the site where the bodies were buried.
Earlier Friday, the Federal Police said that while their investigation indicated the “killers acted alone,” additional arrests were likely.
Pereira, a former employee of the national indigenous affairs agency, Funai, had received threats from poachers, illegal fishermen, wildcat miners, and even drug traffickers operating in the Javari Valley Indigenous Reservation – home to the largest number of uncontacted tribes in the world.
Confessed killer Pelado said that while still with Funai, Pereira had caught him fishing illegally in the valley on more than one occasion.
Phillips, a long-time contributor to British daily The Guardian and other media outlets, reported on illegal mining and environmental destruction in the area. EFE