A Brazilian couple who were murdered in their home had been brutally tortured before their deaths with the killers eating some of their body parts, police believe.
Cristina Amaral, 44, was allegedly raped in front of her husband Juvenal, 57, as a criminal gang tried to force them to give them a large sum of money.
The couple’s mutilated bodies were found buried in the back yard of their house in Camaçari, north east Brazil, with Mrs Amaral missing several internal organs, including her ovaries.
Detective Maria Tereza Santos, head of homicide division said; ‘It appears that the accused practised cannibalism.
‘Internal organs, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes had been ripped out of the female’s body and other body parts are missing. There is no indication of where these organs are.
‘We found that soft tissue had been deliberately cut and sliced from the bones of the victims. We are also investigating whether consumption took place while the victims were still alive.
‘Forensic experts have not conclusively proved the accused ate parts of their victims, but the evidence is pointing to this fact.’
The bodies of the husband and wife were found decaying and buried in a shallow grave on January 9 after concerned neighbours reported the couple missing.
According to cops, the pair were targeted by a local gang looking for 70,000 reais (£15,000) which the attackers believed had been hidden in the residence following the recent success of a compensation claim.
The grandmother of one of the teenagers worked as a cleaner for the victims and is believed to have shared the couples’ ‘good news’ with her grandson. She is not implicated in the crime.
‘The teenage grandson, apparently knew the routine of the victims and this was a premeditated crime,’ said Det. Santos.
‘It appears the suspects set out to rape, kill and we believe eat the victims as part of some sort of depraved ritual.’
Forensic experts revealed Mrs Amaral suffered ‘horrendous’ injuries before she died.
Her husband was brutally beaten, stabbed and forced to watch as his wife was raped in front of him after the evil assailants reportedly failed in their bid to extract where the money was being kept.
Det Santos said ‘We believe the accused broke into the couple’s house on Friday 5 January after learning that the Amarals had come into some funds.
‘It appears the victims were held hostage and mercilessly tortured for at least 24 hours before being killed.
‘We believe Cristina was sexually abused and raped while her husband was forced to watch. The victim’s arm was amputated while she was alive, and they ripped out her ovaries and fallopian tubes. These body parts are still missing.
‘Her husband was also viciously tortured. The killers allegedly sliced open his back with a knife while he was alive. The suspects confessed that they hung their victims before they died and beheaded the wife.’
The couples’ mutilated bodies was found burned and buried together in a makeshift grave in the dirt yard at the back of the house. The suspects were taken to the property by investigators and allegedly revealed the spot where the corpses had been buried.
When police swooped on the gang, the suspects were allegedly found with a 12-gauge shotgun, a pistol and a car believed to be owned by the victims.
‘Everyone is shocked and appalled by the vicious and senseless killing of a couple who lived a quiet life in the neighbourhood and who were known as decent upstanding individuals,’ said Det. Santos.
‘The families of the victims are still reeling from the untimely and cruel nature of their deaths and horrified at the possibility that their parents’ body parts were eaten in this barbaric crime.’
Investigators said the adults will answer a catalogue of charges including robbery, torture, murder, concealment of a corpse, illegal possession of weapons and corruption of minors.