The decapitated head of a Brazilian soccer player was discovered by his wife at 5:30am, after his kidnappers left it inside one of his bags on her doorstep.
Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos, who retired from the sport over two years ago, was kidnapped outside of his own health foods store in Rio de Janeiro at 7.45pm on Monday, according to eye witness testimonies.
The 35-year-old was bundled into a car, which is believed to have been a Hyundai i30, before he was eventually reported missing at around 9pm later that night by wife his wife, Geisa Silva.
The 31-year-old allegedly waited up all night waiting for him to return home. An unnamed relation to Mr Santos remarked of her toil, “Every time a car passed by she would go to see.”
He even discussed her mortifying discovery, stating, “She was getting ready to go to work at around 5.30am when she heard a noise, opened the front door and saw his rucksack. When she opened it she discovered it contained his head.”
Police have since confirmed that Mr Santos’ eyes and tongue had been cut out too. The relative also stated that his decapitated head was in this state, noting, “I did not want to look but the people who saw it said they had gouged out his eyes and cut off his tongue.”
Reports have since emerged that a woman was heard screaming, “My God, it’s Joao! It’s Joao’s head!”
The motives behind this gruesome crime are still unsure, with the anonymous relative asserting, “From what I know, he didn’t have any enemies and neither did his wife.”
However, reports have started to emerge that link Mr Santos’ death with his wife’s work. Mrs Silva works at a military police base in a local slum, which have been set up to try and take the city’s slums away from drug traffickers.
However, police have since confirmed that she didn’t patrol the streets or make any arrests in her role, and instead she worked as a social worker.
Rafael Rangel, Rio’s police chief, commented, “Mrs Silva has no idea who would have done this. Neither she, her husband or any other member of the family have suffered any type of threat as far as she knows. There is nothing that would justify such a barbarous crime.”
Other parts of Mr Santos’ body were found near a city river too. Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos played for clubs in Brazil, Sweden, and Honduras during his career.