Brazilian footballer, ex-policeman among seven arrested for 'barbaric' murder

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

A professional football player from Brazil and a former police investigator are among seven people arrested in connection with a murder police called "barbaric". Flamengo goalkeeper, and captain, Bruno Fernandes is accused of hiring former policeman Marcos Aparecido dos Santos to kill his mistress.

"Monster": Police believe the football star killed his missing mistress.
Image: Repórter Brasil Online.

Police say Fernandes met Eliza Samudio, 25, at a party organised by another Flamengo player last year, and spent the night with the former model and pornstar, impregnating her. Her refusal to abort the pregnancy is cited as the motive behind the killing. Samudio has been missing since June 4th. Police state she contacted them earlier to complain of violence and threats from Fernandes. He is alleged to have attacked her and tried to force her to swallow an abortion pill in a complaint filed in October. He supposedly told her, "[y]ou don't know me and you don't know what I am capable of – I'm from the favela."

Police allege that Samudio was abducted from a hotel in Rio de Janerio and driven for six hours to reach a house belonging to Santos near Belo Horizonte. There, according to newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo, one of Fernandes's cousins, allegedly involved, said loud music was played to cover up the screams as "barbaric tortures" were inflicted upon her by Santos.

It is alleged when she exclaimed she could no longer bear being beaten the ex-policeman responded "[y]ou are not going to bear it any more. You are going to die." Souza is said to have been present and witnessed both her torture and her strangulation. Although she remains missing, police state that they are confident she is dead and claim her remains were disposed of by being fed to at least one rottweiler. Remaining parts are said to be encased in concrete.

The child, a boy, had already been born and is now four months old. Police say his mother was killed when she began attempts to prove the footballer, who was rumoured to have received an offer worth millions of dollars from AC Milan, was his father. Homicide investigator Edson Moreira is running the probe and was in no doubt of the footballing "idol"'s guilt: "[he is] a monster for what he did to this young lady."

The investigation has been a major focus for Brazilian media. The nation has an upcoming presidential election and candidates were quick to express their views. Dilma Rousseff, who present president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wishes to succeed him, said "[t]his is a barbaric crime. The whole of Brazil is disgusted by such a barbaric and perverse crime." Rainforest campaigner Marina Silva, another candidate, expressed concern that "[w]e have repeatedly seen this kind of episode against the lives of women."

Fernandes denied any involvement, claiming a "clear conscience". He has commented that he is concerned the investigation may hamper his prospects of representing Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. Currently in a jail cell, he was requested to provide DNA samples but exercised his constitutional right to refuse. His wife is also alleged to have been involved and is jailed as well. Santos has said, via his lawyer, that he too is uninvolved in any crimes.