Body of “well-known” vagrant found in lift of building of Portugal’s Culture minister

Culture minister João Soares found himself back in the news on Sunday after the body of a “well known” vagrant was found in a lift in his Lisbon apartment building. João Marques, 45, is believed to have been trapped in the lift for two days.

Soares has told reporters that Marques, known to have problems with alcohol, used to sleep on the building’s stairs and was always “well behaved”.

But how he ended up dying in the lift has now to be determined by an autopsy.

According to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, the lift had been stuck between the first and second floor of Soares’ apartment building in Rua Ruben A. Leitão since last Friday.

Residents of the building had alerted maintenance crew, but as it was the weekend, no-one expected any action before Monday.

It was only when a “bloodstain” became evident on the lift that residents raised the alarm, writes the paper.

PSP police who removed Marques’ body have confirmed there were no signs of violence.

João Soares confirmed that Marques was “a well known person in the neighbourhood”.

Soares was only recently in the papers over his controversial decision to drop the strategic plan for Belém (click here)

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