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Brazilian goalie charged with murder despite lack of corpse

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Brazilian goalie charged with murder
  • NEW: The prosecutor says the lack of a corpse will not hinder prosecution
  • A Brazilian soccer goalie is among nine people charged
  • Police: Eliza Samudio, 25, was last seen in June
  • Suspect's lawyer says the goalie will not answer questions about his alleged involvement

(CNN) -- The man trying to prosecute a Brazilian soccer goalie and eight other people on murder charges in the case of a missing woman said Thursday that even though police have not found a body, he will proceed.

"There's no need to find the corpse to prove the death. There are many other ways to prove death. In case the corpse is found, only one proof is needed, which is the autopsy report. But in this case, all other proofs will be united and suppress the need of an autopsy report," prosecutor Gustavo Fabrini said.

Goalie Bruno Fernandes Das Dores de Souza's new attorney, Ercio Quaresma, said it's "irresponsible" to charge the nine suspects with corpse concealment, since no body has been found.

"It's an inconsequence to sign something like that not having concrete proof," Quaresma said.

Video: Brazilian soccer star arrested
  • Brazil
  • Murder and Homicide
  • Soccer

The goalie, his lover and his wife were among the nine people charged with the murder of his former girlfriend, who had been trying to prove he had fathered her son.

The prosecutor filed the charges against de Souza and eight others in Contagem, Brazil, on Wednesday.

Charges include murder, kidnapping, imprisonment, concealment of a corpse, and corruption of a minor. Eliza Samudio, 25, remains missing two months after she was last reported seen.

A former policeman, Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, was also charged with murder and concealment of a corpse in the case.

Fabrini said Thursday that none of the nine suspects is being accused of conspiracy, contradicting what police had previously said.

The other seven suspects were named as Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao, Fernanda Gomes de Castro, Dayanne Souza, Elenilson Vitor da Silva, Sergio Rosa Sales, Wemerson Marques de Souza and Flavio Caetano de Araujo.

All of the suspects are in jail, except for one, who is being sought.

Souza's 17-year-old cousin told police the woman was killed. The teen said Souza watched as the missing woman was asphyxiated, mutilated and fed to dogs, local police investigator Wagner Pinto told reporters last month.

Quaresma has said his client denies all the accusations and de Souza will not answer any questions for now.

"He has not spoken and he won't speak until the defense decides he needs to speak," the lawyer said. "And that might not happen."

Samudio was trying to prove that the goalie had fathered her infant son, who is currently being cared for by her mother, police said.

The football star was last seen with Samudio in June as they headed for his country home in the state of Minas Gerais.

The police investigator described her death to reporters last month.

"They tied her hands, and this other individual strangled her," Pinto said, referring to Santos. "Later they de-boned and disemboweled her."

The woman's body was taken to an undisclosed location, where her remains were fed to several Rottweilers, police said.

Quaresma decried the accusations.

"Are the Rottweilers being charged, too?" he asked reporters.

Souza's former attorney, Michel Assef Filho, said last month that the goalie has "no knowledge of the facts. He is astonished and scared by his cousin's testimony and that's it."

Filho stopped representing Souza when the Flamengo Club suspended Souza's contract. The attorney works on behalf of the soccer club. The Flamengo Club said it suspended the goalie's contract until all facts are known.

Journalist Luciani Gomes contributed to this report.