Dom Phillips: Remains of British journalist found in Brazil, minister confirms


A Foreign Office spokesman says British journalist Dom Phillips has confirmed the remains of Oman buried in the Amazon.

Forensic investigators made the identification on Friday when the main suspect in the Brazilian police confessed to killing Mr Phillips and his traveling companion, local expert Bruno Pereira.

Earlier this week, 41-year-old fisherman Emeraldo da Costa de Oliveira took officers to the place where he had hidden the bodies in the woods, according to country officials.

Banner with pictures of Mr. Pereira, right, and Mr. Phillips during surveillance in Brasilia (Eraldo Perez / AP) / AP

Latin American Secretary WikiFord confirmed on Saturday that the remains belonged to Mr Phillips.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “I am saddened to hear the confirmation of the identity of Dom Phillips’ body.

“My thoughts are with her family. I am grateful to everyone involved in the search.

“We will continue to investigate Mr Phillips’ family and the Brazilian authorities.”

Brazilian officials were searching for the couple’s missing boat early Friday, saying they had failed to find the boat despite a “complete search”.

The country’s federal police said in a recent statement that investigators were still working to determine the cause of death, and that the identity of Mr Pereira’s body had not yet been confirmed.

Federal police officers search the area of ‚Äč‚ÄčAmazon where the men were last seen (Edmar Barros / AP) / AP

According to Brazilian officials, the remains were found last week near where the men went missing on June 5 and arrived in Brasilia on Thursday night after a 10-day search by the Atacai River.

Two arrests have been made in connection with the suspected murder, police said, adding that others may have been involved.

Authorities say a central line of interrogation points to an international network that pays poor fishermen to fish illegally in the Javier Valley Reserve, where the men were last seen. Was

Officials had earlier said that Da Costa de Oliveira, who was being questioned by police about his disappearance, confessed to using a gun to kill Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira.

Investigators have not given a motive for the killings, but authorities have previously said that Mr Pereira’s crackdown on illegal fishing in the local reserve may have angered local fishermen.

A federal police officer escorts a suspect to a river in the area where the men went missing (Edmar Barros / AP) / AP

In its latest statement issued Friday night, Brazil’s federal police said: “The confirmation (of Mr. Phillips’ remains) was based on dental examination and anthropological forensics.

Work is underway to fully identify the remains so that we can determine the cause of death, as well as the dynamics of the crime and the hiding of the bodies. “

Mr Phillips’ family, a longtime contributor to the Guardian newspaper and an environmentalist, said they were heartbroken.

In a statement issued Thursday through his brother-in-law Paul Sherwood, the family said: “This morning we were informed that two bodies had been recovered from a remote location following the confession of one of the men in custody.

“We are heartbroken to confirm that Dom and Bruno were killed and we extend our deepest sympathies to Alessandra, Beatrice and other members of the Brazilian family of the two men.”

Friends and colleagues of the environmental campaigner also paid tribute, with some saying the deaths were the latest in a series of attacks on Amazon.

Pete Vendetti, executive director of Greenpeace UK, described the couple as a “brave, passionate and determined man” who did a “significant job” of helping Brazilian indigenous peoples defend their land and rights on a daily basis. Has given

Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s global environmental editor, said his longtime friend Mr Phillips had died in “an undeclared global war against nature and its defenders”.

In a statement, Mr Watts targeted Brazilian officials, as well as the country’s president, Ger Bolsonaro.

“Police refused to put the helicopter in the air after two people were reported missing, and the military said it had the ability to search but wasted more than a day waiting for orders.” He wrote

Mr Watts said the president, who had previously accused Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira of having an “adventure” that was “bad advice”, had encouraged “illegal logging and mining, local land rights”. Rejected, attacked protection groups, and cut budgets, and officials from forest and local protection agencies. “