News World Remains are of British reporter: CNN Brazil
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Remains are of British reporter: CNN Brazil

British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have been missing since June 5. Photo: EPA
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A forensic exam carried out on human remains found in the Amazon rainforest has been confirmed that they belonged to UK journalist Dom Phillips, local broadcaster CNN Brasil reports, citing unnamed federal police sources.

The confirmation came following a dental arch exam, the report said, adding that a DNA test was still being carried out as a double check.

A second body, believed to be that of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, was still under analysis, CNN Brasil said.

Brazil’s federal police has not confirmed the report.

The remains arrived in Brasilia on Thursday for identification.

Pereira and Phillips vanished on June 5 in the remote Javari Valley bordering Peru and Colombia.

Earlier this week, police recovered human remains from a grave in the jungle where they were led by a fisherman who confessed to killing the two men.

Phillips, a freelance reporter who had written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was doing research for a book on the trip with Pereira, a former head of isolated and recently contacted tribes at federal indigenous affairs agency Funai.

In a statement on Friday, police said the investigation suggested the crime involved more individuals beyond the suspect who confessed to the murders but that so far the killers are believed to have acted without the involvement of a criminal organisation.

“The investigations indicate that the killers acted alone, with no bosses or criminal organisation behind the crime,” police said.

Local indigenous group Univaja said, however, that it had informed the federal police numerous times since late 2021 that there was an organised crime group operating in the Javari Valley.

“The cruelty of the crime makes clear that Pereira and Phillips crossed paths with a powerful criminal organisation that tried at all costs to cover its tracks during the investigation,” said Univaja, which played a leading role in the search.

INA, a union representing workers at Funai, shared the view.

“We all know that violence in the Javari Valley is linked to a wide chain of organised crime,” it said in a separate statement.

Police said they were still searching for the boat Phillips and Pereira were travelling in when they were last seen alive, and that additional people could be arrested.