Updated Jun 16, 2022 - World

Suspect confesses to killing missing British journalist and Indigenous expert

Supporters at a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira

Supporters at a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira on June 9. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

A fisherman confessed to the killing of missing British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and led police to a site with human remains, Brazilian police said Wednesday, per AP.

Driving the news: The grim development came 10 days after the pair went missing, sparking a search that involved the police, army and navy, per the BBC.

  • Brazilian police confirmed Friday that one of the bodies belonged to Phillips, according to the BBC. However, they were still examining the second body believed to be Pereira.
  • The motive for the killings is still under investigation. Police said they expect to carry out more arrests, per the BBC.

The big picture: The fisherman, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, and his brother, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, have both been arrested in connection with the case, the BBC reported.

  • A federal police investigator said at a press conference Wednesday that Amarildo had confessed the night before to killing the two men with a firearm. He also took police to a site where human remains were recovered, per AP.
  • While Amarildo is considered the prime suspect, Oseney denies involvement, per the BBC.

What they're saying: "We are heartbroken at the confirmation that Dom and Bruno were murdered and extend our deepest sympathies to Alessandra, Beatriz and the other Brazilian family members of both men," Phillips' family said in a statement, per the BBC.

State of play: Brazilian authorities had been searching for the two men since they failed to turn up following a reporting trip in an area on the border between Peru and Colombia.

  • Phillips was in the Amazon working on a book on sustainable development. Pereira was accompanying him as a field guide and an expert.

Catch up fast: Last Friday Brazilian police said that human remains had been found near where the two men were last seen, along a remote river in Amazonia.

  • Over the weekend, a group of Indigenous volunteers searching for the men discovered objects that had belonged to them, including "a pair of boots and a healthcare card belonging to Pereira and a backpack filled with clothes and a pair of boots belonging to Phillips," per the Guardian.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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