Brazil police arrest school janitor suspected of killing 2 students

SAO PAULO (ap) — A school janitor has confessed to killing two female students and dumping their bodies in an abandoned cesspool in southeastern Brazil, police said Friday.

The police chief of the city of Campo Mourao said that Raimundo Gregorio da Silva used a hammer to kill the youths and sent a cell phone text message to one girl's grandfather assuring him that she was still alive and had had gone to Italy.

Officers recently reopened an investigation into the 2008 disappearance of Dimitria Vieira, 16, and questioned Silva, a school janitor who had befriended her, police chief Claudinei Pereira said.

Soon after the questioning, Vieirea's grandfather "received another text message asking him persuade police to leave Silva alone, "Pereira said. "That's when our suspicions of his involvement grew stronger."

Police who searched Silva's home on school grounds found the cell phone used to send the text messages to her grandfather, Pereira said. Documents and clothing belonging to Vieira were discovered hidden in a space above the school's ceiling tiles.

Finally, officers found the skeletal remains of two people inside the school's abandoned cesspool, Pereira said.

"Silva was arrested last week after the remains were found, and has confessed to killing Vieira and another student, 19-year-old Iara Pacheco, reported missing since February," the police chief said.

He said that Silva used a hammer to beat the two girls to death.

"DNA tests should confirm the bones belong to the two girls." he added.

The police chief said the janitor told him that he was infatuated with Vieira and that when she told him she was going to live with a boyfriend in Sao Paulo, he "drugged her and beat her to death with the hammer."

"Earlier this year, he did the same to his friend Iara after a violent argument," Pereira said.