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Tragedy in Barcelos: Body of missing boy found after “suicidal mother” jumped from bridge holding him in her arms

The body of six-year-old Carlos, the boy who went missing on Friday after his mother held him in her arms and jumped from a bridge into the Cávado river in Barcelos, was found on Saturday afternoon (June 18) after nearly 26 hours of searches.
Firefighters found the body near one of the bridge’s pillars at around 3pm. Searches were initially conducted in another area of the river as someone reported seeing a body nearby.
The boy’s father was said to be in a state of shock and had to be taken to hospital.

Braga’s PJ criminal police are now waiting for the boy’s mother, 37-year-old Susana Pereira, to recover in order to interrogate her. A PJ source confirmed she is suspected of “qualified homicide”.

National media reports that the woman was “suicidal” and had already tried to jump off a bridge with Carlos and her other two-year-old son a week ago. However, at the time she was stopped by locals. It is unknown why the authorities were not immediately informed of the unstable state of the mother.

Indeed, the woman’s unstable mental health is now the main focus of news reports.

Today’s front page of tabloid newspaper Correio da Manhã reads: “Mother’s jealousy kills Carlinhos”.

According to CM, family members say Susana Correia became “overly jealous” after reading messages on her husband’s mobile phone and suspecting that he was having an affair.

She apparently had started taking medication recently but stopped soon after.

But despite this, no one expected her to carry out such a horrific act.

“We never thought something like this could happen,” said the boy’s godmother.

“She was a great mother, she was very dedicated to her children and I had even arranged to pick up Carlos so that he could have lunch with me,” she told CM.

The boy’s grandmother has also spoken about the tragic incident, saying that her son – the boy’s father – has had his life “destroyed”.

“I can’t feel anger towards my daughter-in-law, I just feel very sad. And now she’s going to pay for what she has done. She took the boy’s life and destroyed her life and my son’s,” Maria da Graça told CM.

She added that she believes the mother took Carlos with her because the boy was “very close to his mother”.

Meantime, Barcelos’ child protection commission (CPCJ) is said to be paying special attention to the woman’s other son, two-year-old Luís, who is being looked after by other family members.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com