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Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 19:17 UK

Palacios brother feared murdered

Wilson Palacios in action for Tottenham
Palacios is one of five football-playing brothers from Honduras

Tottenham's Wilson Palacios has returned to his native Honduras after the discovery of a dead body, believed to be his kidnapped younger brother.

Edwin Palacios, 16, has been held captive for ransom since October 2007.

Midfielder Palacios missed his side's 0-0 draw with Everton on Saturday and will not play in the club's remaining two matches of the season.

A Spurs spokesman said: "Wilson has gone home on compassionate leave. We do not expect to see him for a while."

Manager Harry Redknapp confirmed Palacios left Spurs' team hotel in Liverpool at 0700 BST on Saturday to travel to Honduras.

"The lad had heard from his family at one in the morning what had happened, and his brothers, I believe, have identified the body," he said.

"He sat around the hotel lobby with his case packed until 7am because he didn't want to wake me.

"I'm amazed with him. But we organised for him to be driven back to London so he could get a flight home."

Edwin, the youngest of five football-playing brothers, was seized by armed kidnappers from his home in the coastal town of La Ceiba following Wilson's move to Birmingham City in August 2007.

You couldn't wish for a more calm and likeable lad, football is not really that important after this

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp

Honduran police say the Palacios family paid a ransom of $500,000 (£331,500) but the teenager was not released.

And the chief of police in Honduras suspected the body found 150 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa was that of the teenager.

"According to all the evidence provided to the police, we think the bones are those of the young person, Palacios," said Nelson Osorio.

"The forensic doctors working in the public prosecutors office will analyse the remains and we don't know how long the process will take."

Harrow Hotspur

Palacios, 24, signed for £12m from Wigan in January, has been singled out for praise from former boss Steve Bruce as well as Redknapp for his dedication during his personal turmoil.

"He's a wonderful lad and if his brother was anything like him, he's one of the most respectful people I have come across, he's unbelievable," said Redknapp.

"His mother's been over visiting him on her first visit to England. And she left on Friday and is flying back home so she's travelling and won't know until she got home. I think it's been confirmed.

"You couldn't wish for a more calm and likeable lad, football is not really that important after this."

Palacios' parents will undergo DNA tests on Monday to determine whether the remains are indeed those of Edwin.

Forensic surgeon Oslin Zuniga said: "We will wait 10 days for the results to prove whether the body is that of Edwin Palacios.

"A sample will be taken from the bone marrow."

Dental checks will also be carried out.

Police chief Carlos Adonay said Palacios' brother Milton had positively identified the body after recognising underwear he believed belonged to Edwin.

He added: "The evidence 95% matches the physical characteristics of Edwin, but the DNA and dental exams will say definitively whether it is what it seems."

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see also
Tottenham agree deal for Palacios
21 Jan 09 |  Tottenham
Palacios brother still a hostage
09 Mar 08 |  Football
Football family kidnap drama ends
15 Nov 07 |  West Midlands
Player's brother 'still captive'
16 Nov 07 |  West Midlands
Wigan complete Palacios signing
11 Jan 08 |  Wigan

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The World Game Palacios on compassionate leave - 14 hrs ago
ESPNsoccernet Grieving Wilson Palacios flies home after brother's death - England - 24 hrs ago
Sky Sports Palacios flies home to mourn brother - 25 hrs ago Palacios excused duty by Spurs - 31 hrs ago Grieving Palacios Flies Home - 33 hrs ago


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