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Chaves court remands two in custody over gruesome body find in back garden

Chaves tribunal has remanded a 31-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man in custody pending trial over the grisly find of a severely decomposed and badly burnt body in a back garden in the area last November.

As the Resident explained yesterday, forensic investigations have revealed that the body was that of a 15-year-old who had been living in a state institution.

But details coming out today give an even more desperate background to the story.

Initially, when the body was found, papers alluded to the fact that no-one had been reported missing from the area, and thus police were stumped as to an identity.

Today, Público claims the body was that of a boy who had been in the care of the town’s Lar de Infância e Juventude (children’s home).

Thus how a state institution could have failed to mention that one of its young charges had gone missing suggests a lack of care at the very least.

The next dismal revelation concerns the fact that a child as young as 12 appears to have been involved in the attempts to conceal the body’s identity by setting light to it.

Again, Público makes this claim, and says the child – the daughter of the 31-year-old woman now in custody – and another teen aged 15 have since been placed under “guardianship measures” (not revealed).

Correio da Manhã gives more details, saying the child may “eventually” be taken into institutional care, but for the time being she remains at home with her father, and is going to school as normal.

But perhaps the worst revelation of all is that this case is linked to another horrific case of murder and body-concealing.

The brother of a man now serving time for killing a young mother of two (click here) and burying her in an orchard is the 19-year-old now suspected of having murdered the 15-year-old (whose identity has been confirmed as Tiago Conchacha).

It is a horrific story of depravity that saw locals outside Chaves court yesterday hurling abuse at the alleged perpetrators, named as Patrícia Mendes and Miguel Brito.

As to motive, there are two suggested by CM. The first centres on Tiago having “tried to abuse” the 12-year-old who helped dispose of his body. Mendes (the young girl’s mother) is alleged to have enlisted the help of Brito to teach Tiago a lesson, and Brito’s subsequent alleged beating of the boy “got out of hand”.

The second is the version preferred by police, claims CM. Tiago became “tired of stealing from elderly people” (one of the occupations of the group) “and threatened to go to the authorities. He wanted a different life”, writes the paper.
Whatever the case, it seems likely that Mendes and Brito will now remain behind bars until their trial.

Público reports that their remand hearing began on Thursday afternoon, and “extended into the early hours of Friday morning”.

The pair are charged with murder and the concealing of a body.

As to the fact that Tiago Conchacha’s state-imposed guardians failed to alert investigators to the fact that the youngster had disappeared shortly before the discovery of what was initially a “mysterious body”, little is being said.

CM has approached the children’s home for a commentary, but it reports that the person in charge refused to make one.

The home has stressed however, that it did tell police in August that Tiago had stopped going to school.

According to the paper, Tiago had been a pupil of the Chaves home for the last four years, but when he went missing he was near his 16th birthday and thus no searches ever took place.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com