Brazilian federal police confirmed Friday human remains located in the Amazon are those of British journalist Dom Phillips (L) who went missing June 5 with Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. File Photo by Joedson Alves/EPA-EFE
June 17 (UPI) — Brazil’s federal police said Friday the department has positively identified human remains recovered in the rainforest are those of missing British journalist Dom Phillips.
Police confirmed the match after a forensic identification. The remains were found in the Amazon Wednesday.
Phillips went missing with indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. Forensic results to confirm Periera’s identity are still pending.
Earlier Friday, police said the two men were not killed on orders from organized crime, as had been speculated.
Police said Tuesday they had arrested a second person in connection to the disappearance of both men. The pair were last seen in June heading into the Brazilian Amazon by boat.
“The investigations indicate that the killers acted alone, without any author or criminal organization behind them,” Brazil’s federal police in the Amazon region said in a statement.
Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, 41, was arrested Tuesday and under temporary arrest on suspicion of participating in the case with his brother, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, who was already under police custody since last week.
Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41, were last seen June 5 on a boat in the Javari Valley.
The longtime freelance journalist was reporting about the environment and Pereira, a veteran indigenous rights protector, has received death threats for defending indigenous groups against illegal fishing, mining and logging.
Indigenous groups have pointed to those threats as the true reason behind the pair’s death and are skeptical of the initial police findings.