A firefighter was kidnapped and agonisingly burned alive after he photographed gang barricades in a neighbourhood in Brazil notorious for narcotics dealing.
Major Wagner Luiz Melo Bonin, 42, was reportedly snatched and put to an excruciating death by gang members in Sao Joao de Meriti, Rio de Janeiro State, on 16th November.
Bonin had photographed barricades put up by gangs in the Sao Mateus district following a surge in drug dealing in the area, local media reported.
Major Bonin had sent his photos to police so the barricades could be removed, but local traffickers had apparently spotted his actions and seized him.
Following a search, police found a charred body in the back seat of the fireman’s car in the neighbourhood of Parque Columbia in neighbouring Rio de Janeiro.
Coroners confirmed the body belonged to Major Bonin on 17th November.
Secretary of Civil Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Fire Department Leandro Monteiro told local media his colleague was burned alive.
He said: “I was informed a short while ago by the Civil Police director of forensics that the major was burned alive.
“Immediately, I contacted the secretary of the Military Police, Colonel Henrique, and informed him of what had happened.
“He told me that the Military Police has been in Chapadao [slum complex] since 4am and will only leave when they arrest our officer’s killers.”
Major Bonin was buried in nearby Mesquita on 19th November. His funeral was attended by his widow, Kelly, and many from the Fire Department.
Police arrested a suspect on Avenida Brasil near Vila Kennedy, Rio de Janeiro, on 17th November. They named him as 20-year-old Washington Braga.
When questioned, he said he was from the Sao Mateus district and admitted to being on the run to Campo Grande after police searched his home and found Major Bonin’s belongings.
He added that his mobile phone was found at the crime scene.
The two men he was travelling with will initially be heard as witnesses.