Sunday saw “Bad Rambo” Pedro Dias once again on the run with a “massive mobilisation of police” on his tail.
Early evening, the man suspected of killing two – one a GNR agent – and shooting two others, was “sighted momentarily” by a police patrol in Vila Real. Agents set off instantly, but “lost him” within “two minutes”.
Since then – despite roadblocks and an impressive number of boots on the ground – militarily trained Dias appears yet again to have vanished.
This latest ‘sighting’ – so close to where the horrific killings in Aguiar da Beira took place six days ago – has put paid to all the speculations that Dias had made it out of the country.
According to two eye-witnesses, the Angolan-born 44-year-old who has spent much of his life in South Africa, had been living in an empty house near Moldes, in Arouca, possibly for days.
Jornal de Notícias explains this morning that the house “looks abandoned”.
Surrounded by dense vegetation, the owner lives much of the time away, and due to Dias’ knowledge of the area, he may well have been aware of this.
As it was, the daughter of the female owner returned on Sunday, and it was then that she came upon Dias in the property.
Reports suggest the woman screamed, which brought her elderly neighbour running.
The pair were then bound and gagged, and Dias made off in the neighbour’s white Opel Astra.
By 3.30pm, the neighbour’s absence had been noticed by family members who started searching for him. JN claims the man managed to attract attention by ‘banging on a window’ of the next door house. Police thus became involved within a couple of hours of Dias’ flight.
A car answering the description of the Astra, and driven by a man, was sighted by a patrol car near a Vila Real industrial estate around 5.30pm.
The tragedy however was that in going the wrong way up a one-way street, Dias appears to have confused driver Fernando Magalhães who was trying to park.
Magalhães pulled over, to allow Dias to pass, and then went back to his “manoeuvres”. “When I started once more to park correctly, I heard the GNR hooting”, he told reporters. “Without meaning to, I had held them up”.
Shortly afterwards, the abandoned Opel Astra was found, and police were yet again receiving reports of sightings in “various villages”.
Roadblocks now have extended to neighbouring boroughs as once again local people are being warned not to approach Dias as he said to remain “extremely dangerous”.
Correio da Manhã however says his latest victims suggest he is unarmed, and may only have €5 and a few coins on him, which he took from them when he tied them up.