Autopsy on tragic photojournalist due to report today

The tragic end of photojournalist Pedro Palma is still filling column inches, not least because friends believe he might have been saved if the authorities had acted more quickly.

Palma’s body was found on Thursday in the boot of the Alfa Romeo car he had only recently sold to a friend.

But the car had been officially located the day before – its images beamed over national television – and its new owner claims to have found it in São Pedro de Sintra as early as Tuesday.

Francisco Adão has told tabloid Correio da Manhã that he was forbidden to approach the vehicle by police (

He believes that had he managed to do so, he might well have realised that Palma’s body was in the boot.

This is because he was one of the last people to see Palma, and knew what the 58-year-old was wearing.

Bizarrely, it has emerged that CMTV journalists’ saw the body through the car’s back window but did not fully understand what they were looking at.

Explained Adão: “If I had looked, I might have realised there was a body in the boot”.

Even worse, it is still unclear when Palma died.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances, police are understood to be discounting the possibility of foul play.

The theory, explains tabloid Correio da Manhã, is that Palma entered the boot voluntarily under the influence of a great deal of alcohol.

He was discovered with his shoes lying beside him, as well as in possession of the car’s remote locking device.

An autopsy which should have gone ahead yesterday (Thursday) will be able to pinpoint time of death, but CM today is suggesting Palma could well have been alive until Monday, albeit in an alcoholic coma.

If that is the case, there was a four day period in which, if discovered, he might well have been saved.

This is what is upsetting friends and relatives, explains CM.

Palma’s sister Rosário tried to alert authorities the minute she realised her brother was missing. She feared the worst – but bound by codes of practice authorities only actioned the search much later.

Today’s only certainty is that Palma’s funeral will not be able to go ahead tomorrow (Saturday) as hoped, as closure of this case depends on the results of the autopsy.

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