Brazilian police find body parts of murdered British teen

Other News Materials 5 August 2008 03:16 (UTC +04:00)

Brazilian authorities on Monday discovered the head and arms of a British teenager murdered and dismembered over a week ago, allegedly by her drug-addict ex-boyfriend.

The grisly remains of Cara Marie Burke, 17, were found in the central town of Bonfinopolis, near where the Brazilian boyfriend, Mohammed D'Ali dos Santos, 20, said he had thrown them in a bag, homicide squad chief Carlos Raimundo Batista told AFP by telephone.

Burke's torso was discovered last Tuesday in her suitcase near a river in the nearby city of Goiania, where Santos and she had shared an apartment for a couple of months before their break-up a few weeks ago.

An unemployed man on Sunday found Burke's left leg in a creek in Bonfinopolis, leading police to the spot where the other remains were recovered.

Santos, according to police, has confessed to the crime, saying he fatally stabbed Burke on July 26 because she was going to reveal his cocaine habit to his family and to police.

Detectives also suspect he acted in anger because he was unable to get Burke to marry him in order to give him a visa to live in Britain. His mother lives in London, as does Burke's. The fathers of each died when they were young.

Santos allegedly cut up Burke's body the day after her murder and disposed of the remains in two different locations. An initial search for the limbs and head on Friday failed to turn up anything.

Police said that immediately after his arrest, Santos confessed to the murder and mutilation, and tried to offer a 70,000-real (45,000-dollar) bribe to be let go.

Santos changed his story several times in speaking with the media.

Some British reporters said he claimed he did not kill Burke, or that he was high on drugs when he did. He told the BBC he did "not exactly" murder the girl.

Brazilian police said, however, that Santos officially signed a confession on Friday and they had retrieved the knife and gloves used in the crime.

Santos's cellphone also contained photographs of Burke's cut-up body.