Dom Phillips: Search teams find ‘apparently human’ remains where British journalist was last seen | world news

Brazilian search teams have found “apparently human” remains in the river in the Amazon rainforest where a British journalist was last seen.

The “organic material” is being sent for forensic analysis, federal police said, with blood found on suspect’s boat.

Journalist Dom Phillips and his traveling companion, indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, disappeared after visiting the riverside community of fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Sao Gabriel.

A Brazilian judge ordered Mr. Costa, accused of illegal possession of restricted ammunition, to be
detained for 30 days while police investigate whether he might be involved in the disappearance.

Image:
Search teams searched for the missing pair along the Itacoai River

Police said Mr Costa, known locally as Pelado, was one of the last people to see Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira.

Detectives handling the case told Reuters news agency they were focusing on “poachers and illegal fishermen in the area” as they often clashed with Mr Pereira, who as a top official of the indigenous government agency Funai, had organized patrols in the local reserve.

Dom Phillips

Lawyers and Mr Costa’s family argue he fished the river legally and have denied playing a role in the men’s disappearance.

Witnesses say they last saw Mr Phillips, a freelance journalist who writes for The Guardian and The Washington Post, on Sunday.

The pair were on a reporting trip to the remote jungle on the Peru-Colombia border that is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted indigenous people.

The wild and lawless region has attracted cocaine smuggling gangs, as well as loggers, miners and illegal hunters.

The Guardian said Mr Pereira had received a number of threats from loggers and miners In the region.

The couple’s disappearance has drawn worldwide attention, in part because Brazilian icons such as footballer PelĂ© or singer Caetano Veloso have joined politicians, environmentalists and human rights activists to urge President Jair Bolsonaro to step up their search.

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