House of Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira: Blood found in suspect’s boat as Brazil searches for missing couple in remote Amazon

The discovery came after the Brazilian president said the search for the veteran correspondent was ongoing. Phillips House and Brazilian explorer Bruno Araujo Pereira, who were first reported missing on Sunday in the Javari Valley, in the far western part of the Amazonas state. They had reportedly received death threats a few days prior.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday and remains in custody, authorities said. Materials collected from the boat have been sent to the Amazon state capital for a forensic examination.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Amazonas secretary-general of state security Carlos Alberto Manzur said the man was arrested after he was found in possession of “lots of drugs” and ammunition used for illegal hunting.

Police also questioned five other people in connection with the couple’s disappearance, he said.

Authorities said on Wednesday they were pursuing multiple lines of investigation, including the murder, and added that they still “can’t rule anything out.”

Philips and Pereira conducted research for a book project on conservation efforts in the region, which authorities have described as “difficult” and “dangerous” and is known to harbor illegal miners, loggers and international drug dealers.
Dom Phillips (center) speaks to two indigenous men in Aldeia Maloca Papiu, Roraima state, Brazil, November 16, 2019.

‘Slow response’

in the open letter On Thursday, editors from the world’s major news outlets, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, two newspapers Phillips has collaborated with, urged Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to “immediately step up and commit full resources to finding Dom and Bruno.”
“Now we are very concerned about reports from Brazil that search and rescue efforts have so far been provided with minimal resources, and the national authorities have been slow to offer more than very limited assistance,” the letter says.
Suspect detained as Brazil intensifies search for missing British journalist and researcher in remote Amazon
Phillips’ sister said CNN: “Only on Tuesday evening did we see an official document saying that the army should be deployed.

“This is a very slow response and it means something ominous to the world in the information coming out of the Amazon.”

Brazilian authorities said on Wednesday that a total of 250 people, two helicopters, three drones and 16 boats were involved in the search and rescue operation.

In a tweet Thursday, President Bolsonaro confirmed that the search was ongoing.

“Our three forces [Army, Navy, and Air Force]as well as our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Police, among others, have been working intensively since Monday (6th) to find Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips,” Bolsonaro said.

“We want to decide [the case] and bring comfort to families,

Marcia Reverdosa of CNN contributed to the story.