Human remains found near Brazilian port where missing journalist and researcher were heading

“Organic material” that is “apparently human” has been found in a river near the port of Atalaya do Norte, located on the edge of the remote Javari Valley in the far western state of Amazonas, according to a Brazilian federal police statement. Police said they collected genetic material from both Pereira and Phillips for comparative analysis.

The couple was the first went missing on Sunday in the Javari Valley and is said to have received death threats just a few days earlier.

Philips and Pereira were doing research for a book project about conservation efforts in the region, which authorities described as “difficult” and “dangerous.”

The area is under increasing threat from illegal miners, loggers, hunters and international drug traffickers who exploit its extensive river network.

The search continues for a missing couple in an area of ​​the Amazon known for illegal mining and drug smuggling.
On Thursday, federal police said blood was found in a boat owned by suspect in disappearance. The suspect, who was arrested after being found in possession of “lots of drugs” and ammunition, was arrested on Wednesday and remains in custody, authorities said. The materials collected from the boat have been sent to the Amazon state capital for a forensic examination.

Five other people have also been questioned in connection with the couple’s disappearance, police said.

The Crisis Committee of the Federal Police said that “river searches and aerial reconnaissance” have been conducted in Rio Itacua over the past 24 hours.