Remains of British journalist identified, police seek new suspect

Funeral held in Brazil for murdered British journalist Dom Phillips

Funeral held in Brazil for murdered British journalist Dom Phillips Credit: Twitter @domphillips

The remains of British journalist Dom Phillips have been positively identified by forensic scientists according to Brazil’s police, who say they are now also seeking a new suspect.

The police statement released overnight on June 17 said that work was still continuing to determine the exact cause of death, with the remains of a second person still being investigated. They are believed to belong to indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, however, police said they have yet to be positively identified.

A spokesperson for the police told Reuters that their investigation suggested there were more individuals involved beyond Oliveira and that they were now looking for a man named Jeferson da Silva Lima.

“There is an arrest warrant issued by the State Court of Atalaia do Norte against Jeferson da Silva Lima, aka ‘Pelado da Dinha’, who has not been located at this time.”

He is the third suspect named by police after Oliveira and his brother, Oseney da Costa, who was taken into custody this week. The pair confessed to the killing earlier this week and provided police with the exact location of the bodies.

The police added: “The investigations indicate that the killers acted alone, with no bosses or criminal organization behind the crime.”

That is disputed by the local indigenous group Univaja, who played a leading role in the search. They said: “The cruelty of the crime makes clear that Pereira and Phillips crossed paths with a powerful criminal organisation that tried at all costs to cover its tracks during the investigation.”

Univaja has complained to police that an organised crime group was operating in the area, a view that is supported by the local workers union INA. They said: “We all know that violence in the Javari Valley is linked to a wide chain of organized crime.”

Police investigations are still underway with the boat used by the pair still missing.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Friday said that Phillips and Pereira were supporting the conservation of the Amazon forest and the protection of local tribes and they deserved “accountability and justice.”

Friends, family and colleagues will get some closure now that the remains of British journalist Dom Phillips have been positively identified. However, the world now wants to hear how and why he and his companion were killed, as they do confirmation that justice has been served.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at