Wife Who Led Year Long Campaign To Find Hubby’s Killer Is Arrested For His Murder

A mum who led a year-long social media campaign for justice after her husband was murdered has been arrested on suspicion of masterminding his assassination by hiring a hitman.

The incident took place in the city of Cuiaba, which is the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, when businessman Toni da Silva Flor, 37, was shot five times when he arrived at the gym on 11th August 2020.

He died while being treated in hospital for his injuries. His widow Ana Claudia Flor with whom he had two daughters and who are now being raised by their grandmother, then led a year-long social media campaign calling for justice. He was reportedly a doting father who was worshipped by his daughters and would pick them up every day after school.

But in a surprise twist to the widow’s high-profile demands for justice, police have now arrested her for masterminding the hit.

In the early stages of the investigation, she had said that her husband, who she had been married to for 15 years, had been the victim of a case of mistaken identity and that the real target was a police officer.

But police quickly discarded that theory because the police officer only trained in the afternoons and the victim was gunned down at the gym early in the morning.

Police chief Marcel Gomes de Oliveira, who is overseeing the investigation, is quoted in local media outlet Globo G1 as saying: “The victim left the house at 6:30 am, the suspect at 6:45 am was already at the door of the gym. It was as if there was a bug inside the victim’s house.”

A few weeks later, on 27th August, police received an anonymous tip that gave them the name of their alleged hitman: Igor Espinosa.

Oliveira said: “The complaint revealed that Igor allegedly said that he had killed a jiu-jitsu fighter at the entrance to a gym and that this crime was ordered by the victim’s widow, by the wife.”

The widow gave numerous interviews repeating her ‘mistake’ theory and she even went and sang happy birthday to the victim’s mother on her birthday. She also organised a motorcade in honour of her husband and had T-shirts made for her friends and family.

Oliveira said that the widow went to the police station on a weekly basis asking if they had a suspect yet.

Despite being married for 15 years, the suspect’s and victim’s relationship was always tense, according to his relatives, and shortly before he was killed, he reportedly told his mother that he was going to split up with his wife.

His mother Leonice da Silva Flor said: “He didn’t fight, he left the house. I would take my suitcase and go to a hotel. Last time, he warned that he was going to change his life. That day he said: ‘Mother, I’m going to separate from Ana’.”

The suspected hitman, Igor Espinosa, was arrested on 11th August 2021, almost a year to the day after the murder. He was arrested in Rio de Janeiro allegedly spending money that he had been paid by the suspect to kill her husband Toni.

Oliveira said: “During his interrogation, Igor confessed in full to all the steps of the crime, how he committed the crime, who his intermediaries were, including who the mastermind was. So in the interrogation, Igor claimed that the victim’s own wife ordered his death.”

Ana Claudia Flor was arrested on 19th August and she denies having had her husband killed. Her lawyer Jorge Henrique Franco Godoy said: “She did not commit this crime.”

He added: “The complaint is filed, the prosecution has every right, the police carried out their investigation. It is now up to us to refute each item one by one, over the course of the criminal procedure.”

Prosecutor Samuel Frungilo said: “There is no doubt that she was the mastermind of this murder.”

He added: “She did not want, with the separation, to divide the couple’s assets. This was the main reason for the crime.”

The case is set to go to trial at a later date.