In what must be one of the most macabre murder cases for some time, investigators allege that a gang of four men about to go to trial buried their victim in an orchard in Peso da Régua (Vila Real) returning to the scene two months later to dig her up and “take photographs”.
According to reports, the men “wanted to make sure the body was still there”.
Roberto Brito, 32, his brother Emanuel and two others are now in custody, charged with the qualified murder and subsequent concealing of the body of 22-year-old Catarina Rodrigues.
Mother-of-two Catarina is understood to have been the girlfriend of the brothers’ other brother.
The motive behind her brutal murder was the fact that both young men are alleged to have had sex with the young woman, and were “worried” that she might “denounce” them to their own girlfriends, or even to the authorities.
Thus the public ministry allege that they hatched a plan which involved luring the young woman to a remote venue and strangling her.
As she fell to the ground, one of the four is understood to have further slashed the victim with his knife.
The gang’s undoing appears to have been the photographs they took when they returned to the burial site.
A cousin of the Britos alerted police and after that Emanuel took them to where the body was buried.
A report in today’s Correio da Manhã explains how the judge of criminal instruction ordered taped recordings of the gang’s conversations in the police van that transported them originally to court.
CM reveals how the men discussed the case and said “even if we’re sent down for 15 years, we will be out after seven-and-a-half”.
The men are also understood to have “spoken badly” about the judge.
The case harks back to the night of December 30, 2013.
The night after the murder, all men are understood to have taken part in New Year celebrations.