The footballer The murdered girlfriend
A star Brazilian footballer broke down as he admitted that his former girlfriend was murdered, dismembered and fed to dogs.
Bruno Fernandes de Souza, 28, a goalkeeper who was tipped to play for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, is accused of having Eliza Samudio killed to avoid paying child support after she gave birth to his love child.
The former Flamengo player had previously denied any knowledge of what happened to the 25-year-old, but told a Brazilian court yesterday how his best friend Luiz Henrique Romao had paid someone to kill her.
He admitted that although he hadn’t ordered his former lover to be killed, he had ‘accepted’ it.
The goalkeeper is accused of planning Ms Samudio’s abduction and murder with eight others including his wife Dayane, another former lover, a cousin and former policeman Marcos Santos.
It has been alleged that he watched as Santos tortured her and then helped him to chop her body.
Parts of the woman’s corpse are alleged to have been fed to Bruno’s pet rottweillers, while the rest was buried in concrete.
At an earlier trial, Romao was found guilty of Ms Samudio’s murder and jailed for 15 years. Santos will be put on trial next month.
Bruno, who before his arrest had been linked with a multi-million pound transfer to AC Milan, has always claimed Ms Samudio was alive and had left the country. Her body has never been found.
But he told a court in Contagem, southeast Brazil, that his cousin, Jorge Rosa, who had witnessed the murder, had told him what had happened.
The former star admitted that he feels ‘guilty’ for her death despite instisting that he never ordered the killing.
Ms Samudio, who had previously claimed to have had an affair with Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo, met Bruno at a footballers’ party in May 2009 and fell pregnant by accident, it is claimed.
The goalkeeper demanded she have an abortion but she went ahead with the pregnancy, instead insisting that he assume paternity of the child.
Before her disappearance on June 4, 2010, Ms Samudio had approached police claiming she had been held captive by Bruno and his associates, who forced her to take an illegal abortion drug.
Bruno allegedly put a gun to her head and told her: ‘You don’t know who I am or what I’m capable of – I’m from the favela.’
The baby, Bruninho, was born in February 2010, but the player refused to acknowledge he was the father.
Prosecutors allege that Bruno ordered Ms Samudio’s murder after she told him she would take legal action to force him to pay child support.
In a statement to police, the footballer’s teenage cousin Jorge Rosa claimed he and Romao picked up Ms Samudio and her son from a Rio de Janeiro hotel after she accepted an invitation by the footballer to talk about the paternity claims.
He said they drove her 220 miles to a property in Belo Horizonte which Bruno and his wife used as a weekend retreat, where she was held captive for six days.
Ms Samudio was then allegedly handed over to former military policeman Santos, who committed ‘barbaric tortures’ on her before strangling her to death with a neck tie in front of her four-month-old son.
Santos, who was allegedly paid £8,000 to murder her, played loud music on a stereo to drown out the woman’s screams, it is claimed.
Edson Moreira, a detective who investigated the case, said: ‘His acts were almost impossible to describe without breaking down – images from the worst nightmare you could imagine.’
Police later found Ms Samudio’s four-month-old baby in a Belo Horizonte slum, alleged to have been abandoned there by Bruno’s wife Dayane. DNA tests later proved the footballer’s paternity. The child is now being looked after by Ms Samudio’s mother.
Bruno’s trial, which began on Monday, is expected to conclude today. If found guilty he could be jailed for up to 41 years.