Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This pretty 19-year-old student has been found dead and police believe a convicted rapist who offered to help her change a flat tyre may be responsible.
Brazilian student Mariana Bazza’s body was found in the rural area of Ibitinga in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo and police have now arrested Rodrigo Pereira Alves, 37, for her murder.
Physiotherapy student Bazza had reportedly spotted the flat tyre as she was getting into her car which was parked outside a gym in the city of Bariri in the state of Sao Paulo.
A man then reportedly offered to help her change the tyre but Bazza is said to have initially refused his help and was instead going to drive the car to her father or cousin’s house.
However, the man, allegedly Alves, told Bazza that driving with the flat “would screw up the wheel”, according to the victim’s friend Heloisa Passarello, who was with Bazza at the time.
Passarello says she then left as she was running late, leaving her friend with the man.
In the video, the suspect and the victim can be seen talking when she gets into her black Volkswagen Gol and drives off, reportedly to the farm where he works across the road for him to change the tyre.
Pereira, who has previously been convicted of rape, was later arrested after police found a picture of the man changing the tyre that the victim had sent to her boyfriend. The suspect was reportedly hiding in the roof of his house when he was arrested.
Local media report he confessed to having killed the victim and told the police where to find the body, 60 kilometres from where she was last seen.
The victim’s body was then found a day later with her hands tied behind her back.
However, the suspect is then said to have retracted his confession and claimed that another man had killed the victim.
Local authorities told reporters that they would also investigate the new version of the suspect, although they described it as “fanciful.”
They are working to discover if the suspect purposefully punctured the victim’s tyres to be able to approach her.
The investigation is ongoing and it is unclear if the suspect has been charged.
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