RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Police on Thursday accused a Brazilian man of killing and dismembering his 17-year-old British girlfriend, taking pictures of her body parts with his cell phone and stuffing her torso in a suitcase.
Officers found the suitcase with the torso of Cara Marie Burke at the edge of a river Monday in this central Brazilian city, Goias state police inspector Jorge Moreira da Silva said.
Burke's boyfriend, Mohamed D'Ali Carvalho Santos, 20, was arrested and charged with homicide Thursday after "he confessed he cut her up and even photographed the body on his cellular phone," Silva said.
One photo appeared to have been taken in a bathroom shower stall, showing Burke's severed head placed on the chest of her torso along with a bloody butcher knife.
Silva said Santos confessed that was stabbed her to death on Saturday and dismembered her on Sunday because she threatened to tell his parents he was a drug dealer addicted to cocaine, and was considering turning him in to police.
Burke met Santos in London, where his mother lives, and had visited Brazil before, Silva said. She had been in Brazil for about three months.
Her friends identified her body from a tattoo on the torso.
Police were still searching Thursday for Burke's head and limbs, which Santos said he hid in a rural area outside town. Taken out of his cell in handcuffs to be filmed by television crews, he held his head down and said nothing.
Karine Neves, a spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Brasilia, said a British vice consul is in Goiania tracking the case and the police investigation.
Burke's online acquaintances demanded justice in messages they posted on her Web page on Orkut, an online social networking community hugely popular in Brazil.
The page also featured pictures of the blond teenager posing with friends in London and Brazil and holding a baby in her arms.