US Police Identify Brazilian Serial Killer After Death

The cold case dated back twenty years. The American police announced Tuesday to have solved three murders of young women committed in Florida thanks to a long investigation which ended with the exhumation of a corpse in Brazil. Roberto Fernandes, who died in a plane crash in 2005, “was a serial killer” and may have claimed more lives, according to a statement from the Broward County Sheriff.

In 2000, his services had discovered, a few weeks apart, the bodies of two young women beaten to death and abandoned in bags along the roads.
A year later, a third stabbed victim was found floating in Miami Bay. All three women suffered from drug problems and were prostitutes.

On the run in Brazil

In the latest case, the police quickly suspected Roberto Fernandes, a Brazilian living in the United States in the late 1990s after being acquitted of the murder of his wife in his country. But when she wanted to question him, he had already flown to Brazil, which does not have an extradition agreement with the United States.

In 2011, DNA analyzes linked the three murders. Fingerprints had also reinforced suspicions against Roberto Fernandes. American investigators then went to Brazil to find him.

“We had to prove that he was really dead”

The authorities had told them that he had crashed six years earlier while trying to flee to Paraguay after being implicated in a rape and threatened by the family of his ex-wife. The American police then thought he might have staged his accident. “We had to prove that he was indeed dead,” Agent Nikoli Trifonov explained at a press conference.

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After years of research and bilateral discussions, his grave was finally found in Brazil and opened. DNA analyzes confirmed that he was indeed deceased and that he was the author of the three murders.

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