TWO brothers have reportedly admitted killing and dismembering British journalist Dom Phillips and his Brazilian guide Bruno Pereira.
They were last seen on June 5 on their boat near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory, which borders Peru and Colombia.
The suspects are fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira – nicknamed Pelado – and his 41-year-old brother Oseney da Costa de Oliveira – known as Dos Santos.
The two suspects confessed to killing the two men on Wednesday, local broadcaster Band News reports.
Amarildo was arrested last week on weapons charges, while Oseney was taken into custody on Tuesday night.
Brazilian police took Oseney out on the river to the search site in a police boat on Wednesday, escorted by officers with his face covered and a red and black hooded sweatshirt pulled low over his head.
Human remains were later found in the area where Mr Phillips and his guide vanished, Brazil’s Justice Minister Anderson Torres said.
He said: “I have just been informed by the federal police that ‘human remains were found at the site where excavations were being carried out’. They will undergo forensic analysis.”
President Jair Bolsonaro said he expected the case to be resolved “in coming hours”.
It was widely reported that the bodies of the pair had been found “tied to a tree” – but cops denied this and claimed no bodies have been discovered in the search in the Amazon.
According to The Guardian, Mr Phillips’ family received a call from an aide to the ambassador on Monday saying their bodies had been discovered tied to trees in the rainforest.
But Mr Phillips’ brother-in-law, Paul Sherwood, said ambassador Fred Arruda had written to the family to say the statement was incorrect.
Mr Arruda said: “We are deeply sorry the embassy passed on to the family yesterday information that did not prove correct.”
He said the embassy had been “misled” by information it had received from “investigating officials”.
Mr Arruda added: “The search operation will go on, with no efforts being spared.”
Police said personal items belonging to the two missing men were found in a river on Sunday.
They said they found a backpack and a pair of boots belonging to Mr Phillips, as well as a health card, black trousers, a black sandal and a pair of boots belonging to Mr Pereira.
According to ABC News, police have honed in their investigation on members of Brazil’s “fish mafia”.
Locals who were with Phillips and Pereira before they disappeared claimed Paledo brandished a rifle at the pair the day before they disappeared.
Another witness described him as a “very dangerous man”.
Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were on a reporting trip in the remote jungle area on the border between Peru and Colombia that is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted indigenous people.
The wild and lawless region has lured cocaine-smuggling gangs, along with illegal loggers, miners and hunters.
The streets of Atalaia do Norte, the largest riverside town near where the men were last seen, have grown busy in recent days with soldiers in camouflaged trucks, along with the distant sound of helicopters absent earlier this week.
By last Friday, some 150 soldiers had been deployed via riverboats to hunt for the missing men and interview locals.
Indigenous search teams have been looking for the two men since last Sunday.
Boris Johnson said the Foreign Office was working closely now with the Brazilian authorities following the disappearance of Mr Phillips.
“What we’ve told the Brazilians is that we stand ready to provide all the support that they may need,” he said.