GNR Police

Headless body mystery ‘solved’

Drug cartel involvement discounted; police make arrest

Police have made an arrest in the ‘headless body mystery’ that hit the headlines last Tuesday.

The case appears to have nothing to do with the ‘cartel killing’ previously mooted – linked to a drugs ‘bust’ a month ago. It was a “crime of passion” involving homosexuals, say latest reports.

A Portuguese man has been arrested. Luís Lopes, 52, denies killing his Brazilian lover Valdene Mendes, 47, but admits having ‘profaned the body’ – this referring to dismembering his former partner, and distributing the body parts in various areas of countryside (within a close proximity to each other) where he purportedly believed ‘wild boar would devour’ them.

There appear to be quite a few ‘loose ends’ to this account – not least the accomplice Lopes is believed to have had in the whole dismal affair: the ‘weapon used to dismember the body’, for example, is still missing – as well as the accomplice; but otherwise the case is essentially ‘solved’: Lopes has lead police to areas where missing body parts were able to be recovered, namely the head, and some parts of the victim’s thighs.

As to the motive for killing Valdene Mendes, this appears to be linked to the latter’s desire to end his relationship and return to Brazil.

A police source has pinpointed the date of the crime: “the early hours of April 28, with the practice of the crime of murder” having taken place in the home the two men shared. 

According to Correio da Manhã, Mendes had already purchased tickets for flights back home to Brazil, and was ‘preparing to put an end to the relationship of dependance that he maintained” with Lopes.

As for Lopes, he is described by CM as someone who was “always violent”; known for ‘beating older women in public’, as well as his own mother (ditto in public). He appears to have been a former gravedigger – this, says the paper, meant that he “dealt relatively well with cadavers” which “perhaps explains the alleged ease with which he dismembered the body of his friend, and the way he disposed of the mortal remains in adjoining (scrub)land in Adão Lobo, a hamlet close to Cadaval“.

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