PJ investigate “mysterious body” in abandoned building near São Teotónio, Odemira

“No-one knows of anyone missing in region over recent weeks”

PJ police are investigating the discovery on New Year’s Day of a body on in advanced stages of decomposition in an abandoned building in an isolated spot near São Teotónio, Odemira.

The body was found by a shepherd alerted by the bad smell coming from ruins on a ‘monte’ (hill property) with no road access..

It is unclear whether or not the individual died of natural causes. Early reports described “signs that the death could have resulted from a crime”, hence why it was passed by the GNR’s Beja territorial command to the PJ.

One theory put forwards by the local GNR is that the abandoned building is “very close” to the place where Festival Sudoeste takes place every August (Zambujeira do Mar).

Photographs taken by Correio da Manhã newspaper also show the site, known as Herdade da Casa Branca, being alongside ‘estufas’ (covered greenhouses) of one of the many intensive agriculture businesses in the area.

Certainly, there seem to be no reports of  missing persons in recent weeks that would tie in with the discovery.

As Correio da Manhã’s reporter has explained, it is impossible to tell whether the body is that of a man or a woman. There is also no indication at this point of the age of the individual. The body in fact appears to have been undiscovered “for a long time” as the site is so isolated.

Investigators now will have to determine whether death occurred within the building, whether it was suspicious or not (whether it could have been a suicide), or whether the body was left there by third parties following a murder.

The body has since been transported to the Service of Legal Medicine of the Hospital do Litoral Alentejano in Santiago de Cacém, where it will be autopsied.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com