Ex-boyfriend arrested in “body in oven” murder

Almost exactly a month from the day her naked body was found – trussed at the hands and feet and stuffed into an incinerator in an abandoned factory near Braga – the ex-boyfriend of Brazilian Mayara Maldonado has appeared in court.
The son of a parish council president, Pedro Vieira (20) was arrested by PJ police on Wednesday (February 12). According to Correio da Manhã newspaper, he has consistently denied murdering his former girlfriend, but a history of violent episodes throughout their relationship raised police suspicions.
Talking to the paper in January, Mayara’s mother said she was “certain” her daughter had been killed by her former boyfriend, who lives near to the abandoned factory where the girl’s decomposed body was found.
“He always swore to me that he had done nothing to my daughter. He even offered to help me find her but when I discovered that he had hit her before, to the point where she had to go to hospital, I was certain it was him who had killed Mayara,” a tearful Alessandra Maldonado told Correio da Manhã yesterday.
In the village of Santa Lucrécia de Algeriz, where Vieira’s father is the head of the local ‘junta’, residents are in shock.
“Nothing as bad or macabre as this has ever happened here before,” local resident José Gomes told the newspaper.
Mayara’s body was found on January 11 by youngsters playing in the disused factory. At the time, her remains were unrecognisable, but police narrowed possibilities down and DNA testing did the rest. According to latest news reports, Mayara died as a result of asphyxiation.
A mass in her memory will be held at 5pm today in Braga cathedral.