Published January 13, 2015
A Brazilian man accused of killing and dismembering a British teenager and stuffing her torso in a suitcase bragged to his brother in a text message that she was "in the bag," state police said Saturday.
Mohamed D'Ali Carvalho Santos, whom police and his lawyer said has confessed to killing 17-year-old Cara Marie Burke, sent the message to his brother Bruce Lee, who lives with their mother in London, said a police investigator who declined to be identified in line with departmental rules.
The message, written in English and accompanied by a smiling face symbol, read: "the bitch is in the bag," the investigator said. It was found in Santos' cell phone, which he used to photograph Burke's severed head after he allegedly placed it on top of her torso along with a bloody butcher knife, the investigator added.
Shortly after his arrest last Thursday, the 20-year-old Santos tried to bribe police to let him go, offering officers 70,000 reals (about US$45,000) which he said he would get from his mother, inspector Jorge Moreira da Silva told reporters.
The attempted bribery was recorded by police and broadcast Friday night on national television.
"The biggest reward we could receive is to see a psychopath like yourself behind bars," a police officer is heard saying on the audio recording.
Police say Santos confessed to killing Burke, who was visiting from Britain, on July 25 and then cut up her body with a butcher knife because she had threatened to tell his parents that he was a drug dealer and addicted to cocaine.
Santos stabbed her to death with the knife and then attended a funk concert before returning to dismember her body, Silva said.
The girl's torso was found Monday in a suitcase on the banks of a river in Goiania, a sprawling city of 2 million in central Brazil.
Firefighters continued searching Saturday for her head and limbs, which Santos said he had placed in garbage bags and tossed from a bridge in a remote area.
According to police, Burke and Santos met in the U.K. and dated until several weeks ago. But Burke's family told The Times of London that the two met in Brazil and were never a couple.
Santos' attorney Odair de Meneses on Friday said his client had confessed to killing the girl in a deposition to police. He argued that Santos could not be held fully responsible because he had been taking drugs "nonstop" for four days before her death.
In a jailhouse interview on Friday, Santos told The Associated Press that he did not remember most of what happened the night Burke died because he was high on cocaine.
"I don't remember much," he said through the bars of his jail cell. "I had used too many drugs."