Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the last photo of a teenager as she crouches in a makeshift grave shortly before her boyfriend allegedly shot her.
The incident is one in a string of cases involving women aged 16 to 30 who have apparently been executed in a war between rival gangs in the Brazilian municipalities of Teresina and Timon.
Gisele Vitoria da Silva Sampaio, 17, went missing after leaving her two-year-old son, Davi, at home. She was seen being taken away by people in a black car on the night of 7th March.
The following morning, her cousin received a message reading “Where’s Davi? They’re going to kill me!” shortly before rumours started circulating on WhatsApp that she had been killed.
Her relatives had hoped she was still alive. However, their hopes were dashed when her mother, Maria de Fatima, was sent a picture of her daughter in the shallow grave, covered in blood.
Maria de Fatima told news site GP1: “I don’t want to know who did it; I just want her body to be found so she can have a dignified burial.”
Despite her request, her daughter’s body remains missing.
The alleged killer has been named by the police as the victim’s boyfriend, Ryan Rodrigues de Paiva. Cops believe he seduced Gisele and started a relationship with her to ambush her.
Officers believe the young woman left her house on 7th March on the pretext of going on a date with Paiva, and they believe he and his accomplices then kidnapped her in the black car.
Another photo shows Gisele sitting on the ground with a handgun aimed towards her, which is believed to be wielded by Paiva, who is at large and is being searched for by the police.
Gisele was a friend of Joyce Ellen, 16, who, along with Maria Eduarda, 17, was forced to dig her own grave before being tortured and shot dead by gang members.
Local residents found the teenagers’ bodies in a shallow grave in Timon on the morning of 21st March.
The gang members filmed the teens digging their own graves while quizzing them on an alleged killing and later photographed them covered in blood after torturing them.
The alleged killing they were interrogated on in the footage is believed to be Gisele’s.
Gisele’s relatives told news site G1: “We believe they were killed because they knew something about Gisele’s disappearance.”
In another case, police officers found the dead body of Tatiana Graziela Santos Rodrigues de Jesus, 16, on the banks of the Poti River in Teresina on 25th April, five days after she went missing.
She is believed to have been in a relationship with a suspect in Gisele’s disappearance. His name has not been divulged. As such, it is not known if the suspect is Paiva.
The woman suspected of commanding Joyce and Maria Eduarda’s executions was arrested in the municipality of Carlos Barbosa, around 1,766 miles from the crime scene as the crow flies, on 23rd April.
The mentioned cases and another involving Gisele’s neighbour, Valdirene Melo de Jesus, 27, whose dead body was found on 12th April, close to where Tatiana’s body was later found, are being investigated by the police.