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Brazilian goalie suspected in murder of missing woman surrenders

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Brazilian goalie held for questioning
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "My heart is in 100 pieces," mother says
  • NEW: Souza has repeatedly denied the charges
  • Flamengo goalie in murder case turns himself in to Rio police
  • A 17-year-old boy has allegedly confessed to being part of the crime
RELATED TOPICS
  • Brazil
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • South America
  • Soccer

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (CNN) -- Bruno de Souza, Flamengo's goal keeper, turned himself in to police Wednesday for questioning related to the kidnapping and murder of a woman believed to have been the goalie's former lover, Rio de Janeiro police said.

Souza's friend, Luiz Henrique Romao, also surrendered. The two men were held at Polinter Police Station in the Andari neighborhood before being taken for questioning to the homicide division at the police station in Barra da Tijuca in the western part of Rio de Janeiro.

Their surrender came hours after a judge in Rio de Janeiro issued an order for their arrest.

Both are considered suspects in the disappearance and murder of Eliza Samudio, according to court documents. Samudio was last seen with Souza as they headed for his country home in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais in June. Her body has not been found, authorities said.

Souza's attorney, Michel Assef Filho, was not available for comment, but the athlete has repeatedly denied the charges.

Samudio had said that Souza had threatened and beat her, according to the state prosecutor's office.

"My heart is in a hundred pieces," Samudio's mother, Sonia Moura, told a reporter. "I'm feeling very bad."

CNN has confirmed that a total of eight arrest orders were issued in Minas Gerais. Wednesday's surrenders bring the number of arrests to seven, including Dayane Souza, the goalie's wife.

Bruno Souza's 17-year-old cousin has allegedly confessed to taking part in the crime, Minas Gerais police chief Edson Moreira told reporters. But Moreira said the boy's confession is under question.

Flamengo soccer officials said they have suspended Souza until the allegations and legal issues are resolved.

Flamengo -- Brazil's most popular soccer team -- has an estimated 32 million followers, the team website said. The team has served as a launching pad for the careers of several World Cup stars.

CNN's Ingrid Formanek and Luciani Carvalho contributed to this report

 
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