Esposende priest dies performing own D-I-Y tracheotomy

The macabre scene of a priest lying dead in his own kitchen with a knife plunged into his neck would normally suggest foul play – but this was not the case in the tragic story of Esposende “padre” José Miguel Pereira. The 40-year-old is believed to have stabbed himself in a desperate bid to breathe through a crippling asthma attack.

According to stories in the national media today, Pereira had been gravely ill for months due to lung infections.

PJ police called to the scene quickly deduced that there had been no forced entry into the house, nothing had been taken and there were no signs of anything like a struggle or attempt at self-defence.

What they found was a man on his back, with a knife in his neck and various packets of pills around him. They also found that his ventilator-pump (the kind used by asthmatics) had blocked. Thus the deduction that Father José had almost certainly tried to perform an emergency tracheotomy on himself in a bid to keep breathing.

Braga PJ are now awaiting the results of an autopsy which they hope will confirm their theory.

According to Sol website, only a few days before his death Father José had been “unable to celebrate Mass” because of his illness.