On last Monday, September 25th, the Civil Police of the State of Goiás, Brazil (PCGO), through the Group for the Repression of Frauds and Other Frauds (GREF/DEIC), arrested a 22-year-old male escort suspected of being the perpetrator of the murder of a 64-year-old university professor. The crime was allegedly motivated by the theft of money and credit cards from the victim.
The evidences leading to the suspect’s arrest began to unfold when the security department of a bank, where the victim held an account, alerted the police. They received images of an attempted biometric validation in which an individual was trying to impersonate the victim, using facial recognition technology. However, the suspicious activity raised alarms within the financial institution.
“A man was seen having his head held up by another person’s arm during the facial recognition process, which raised suspicions within the financial institution”, reported the PCGO.
The police authorities were immediately contacted and began a thorough investigation. Around 1:45 PM on the same day, investigators located the suspect near the building where the victim lived, located in the Setor Oeste neighborhood in Goiânia, Brazil. When approached, the suspect initially lied about his identity, but the police managed to determine his true identity. He was already suspected of involvement in various thefts and fraud crimes.
With the help of a building caretaker and the suspect in custody, the police went up to the victim’s apartment. The keys were found in a utility box on the floor, and upon entering the apartment, they found the door to the suite locked. After breaking down the bedroom door, the body of the university professor was found in the bathroom, holding a crucifix in his hand with a rope wrapped around his neck. The investigations indicated that this macabre scene had been staged by the perpetrator in an attempt to simulate a suicide.
After being arrested, the suspect confessed to the murder and disclosed his attempts to access the victim’s funds. He made transfers via PIX to his own account and used the stolen credit cards to make purchases. The suspect also attempted to access one of the victim’s accounts, using facial images of the victim during the biometric validation process.
After making the purchases and returning to his residence in Jardim Esmeralda, the suspect decided to go back to the crime scene to attempt to stage the victim’s suicide and call the police, claiming to have discovered the body. However, his attempt was thwarted when investigators from the Civil Police intercepted him on the victim’s building sidewalk.
The suspect, identified as José Henrique, now faces charges of murder, robbery, and bank fraud. He is in custody of the authorities and awaits trial. The academic community and the victim’s family are horrified by the brutality of the crime and await the unfolding of the investigations to seek justice for this tragic event.