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Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Sunday, 3 August 2008 17:03 UK

Brazil hunt for Briton's remains

Cara Burke with Mohamed D'Ali Carvalho Santos
The pair are thought to have travelled to Brazil about three months ago

Police in Brazil believe they may have been looking in the wrong location for the missing body parts of the murdered London teenager Cara Marie Burke.

A detective said the suspect, Mohamed D'Ali Carvalho dos Santos, may have taken search teams to the wrong river, as he is unfamiliar with the area.

Police on Monday will go to another location to continue their search.

Some of Miss Burke's remains were found last week by a motorway in the city of Goiania, in the central state of Goias.

The torso of the 17-year-old victim from Wandsworth, south London, was discovered in a suitcase, while her head and limbs have not been found.

Police are also continuing to search for a second man alleged to have helped to dispose of the body.

Detectives say Mr Santos gave an incorrect name for both the man and the type of car he was driving, but they had now discovered his correct identity.

Jose Maria da Silva, who is part of the investigating team, told the BBC that he was not aware of reports which say that police in Goiania are investigating the murders and mutilation of other women in the area.

While he confirmed that the body of another woman had been found in the same area last December, he said police are not convinced of a connection with the killing of Miss Burke.

Map of Brazil showing Goiania

"I am aware of that case but it is more a possibility than a real investigation," he said. "There was a woman in the same river who was also chopped up, but we don't know if there is any connection mainly because there is no identification of that woman.

"It's a possibility, but there is no lead in that case. It is a little early to jump to conclusions."

The Observer newspaper reported the head of the investigation, Jorge Moreira, as saying that police were looking at cases over the last five years, but Mr Moreira was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

Mr Silva said the priority this week was to find the alleged accomplice and the rest of Miss Burke's body.

In an interview with the BBC after his arrest, Mr Santos said he and Ms Burke had been "friends". Asked if he killed her, he replied: "Not exactly."

He has been charged with homicide after "he confessed he cut her up and even photographed the body on his cellular phone," Mr Moreira said after Mr Santos's arrest.

Police believe Mr Santos was living in London during 2006 and 2007, and returned to Brazil this year.

Officers believe Miss Burke may have travelled to the country to marry Mr Santos to secure him a visa.




SEE ALSO
Man 'admits Brazil girl murder'
01 Aug 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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