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The husband of a Brazilian model who drowned while out on a boat during a windstorm off Sao Paulo will reportedly be charged with manslaughter.
The body of 37-year-old Caroline Bittencourt was found on the shoreline April 29, a day after she vanished at sea, the Associated Press reported. The model and her husband, Jorge Sestini, were out sailing on a catamaran Sunday when she fell into the water after the wind reportedly picked up.
Sestini, 37, claims he jumped into the ocean after her. He was rescued hours later by a navy officer; the catamaran was found capsized a few miles away. He's now accused of ignoring warnings of rough weather, leading to his wife's death, newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo reports.
“We believe Jorge risked the life of Caroline and himself when he apparently ignored warnings about the impending bad weather,” São Sebastião Civil Police detective Vanderley Pagliarini told the British tabloid Daily Mail. “It appears Leonardo warned Jorge on two separate occasions about the conditions at sea and about tempestuous winds in the channel through which he would have had to navigate on his return journey. Knowing that bad weather was raging at that moment in the region, especially for those who were on board small boats and (apparently) expressly ignoring the warnings in this regard and deciding to launch into the sea, suggests indisputable negligence.”
At first it was reported that Bittencourt jumped off the boat in attempt to save her two dogs who fell off the catamaran. But, her family has said that she and her pets fell overboard at the same time.
If convicted, Sestini could reportedly face one to three years in prison. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
The model has one child, 17-year-old Isabelle Bittencourt, who is also a model. She has thanked people for their support in light of her mother’s death.
“We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol’s friends and fans. This energy drive fills our hearts with so much love,” she wrote.
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