Examination confirms remains found on Amazon were those of British journalist, report says

Band Gabriel Araujo and Carolina Pulice

SAO PAULO, June 17 (Reuters)A forensic examination carried out on human remains found in the Amazon rainforest confirmed on Friday that they belonged to British journalist Dom Phillips, local television station CNN Brasil reported, citing unnamed federal police sources.

Confirmation came following an examination of the dental arch, the report said, adding that a DNA test was still in progress as a double check.

A second body, believed to be that of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, was still being analyzed, CNN Brasil reported.

The Brazilian federal police did not confirm the information.

The remains arrived in Brasilia on Thursday for identification.

Pereira and Phillips went missing on June 5 in the remote Javari Valley on the border of Peru and Colombia. Earlier this week, police recovered human remains from a grave in the jungle where they were led by a fisherman who confessed to killing the two men.

Phillips, a freelance journalist who had written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was researching a book about the trip with Pereira, a former remote tribesman and recent contact at the federal indigenous affairs agency Funai.

In a statement on Friday, police said the investigation suggested the crime involved more individuals than the suspect who confessed to the killings, but that so far the killers would have acted without the involvement of a criminal organization.

“Investigations indicate the killers acted alone, with no bosses or criminal organization behind the crime,” police said.

The local indigenous group Univaja, however, said it had informed the federal police on several occasions since late 2021 that there was an organized crime group operating in the Javari Valley.

“The cruelty of the crime makes it clear that Pereira and Phillips crossed paths with a powerful criminal organization that tried at all costs to cover their tracks during the investigation,” said Univaja, who played a leading role in the research.

INA, a union representing workers at Funai, agrees.

“We all know that the violence in the Javari Valley is linked to a broad chain of organized crime,” he said in a separate statement.

Police said they are still looking for the boat Phillips and Pereira were traveling in when they were last seen alive, and other people may be arrested.

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo in Sao Paulo, Anthony Boadle in Brasilia and Carolina Pulice in Mexico City; Editing by David Alire Garcia, Daniel Wallis and Rosalba O’Brien)

(([email protected]; +55 11 5644 7745;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.