A sexy photograph that was supposed to be all in good fun led to the brutal murder of a soccer player in Brazil.
Daniel Correa Freitas’ mutilated body was found in southern Brazil last month with one local report describing him as "nearly beheaded, and with his genitals severed."
A Brazilian businessman and his wife have been formally charged with the murder of the 24-year-old, but on Sunday detectives announced that it was the wife’s decision to have Freitas pose for a picture that led to his killing.
Cristiana Brittes, 35, is expected to be charged with murder along with procedural fraud and coercion of witnesses. Her husband, Edison Brittes, 38, who reportedly already confessed to the killing, has already been charged with murder, the New York Post reports.
“Following the analysis of the investigation, the conclusion I reached was that this homicide would never have happened the way it did without the decisive performance of Cristiana,” prosecutor Joao Milton Salles told Globo TV, according to the New York Post. “[Cristiana Brittes] allegedly led the player to believe that the joke [of taking the picture] would be harmless in the circumstances in which they were taken.”
The picture in question was of Freitas lying in the same bed next to Cristiana, a photo that Edison allegedly responded to with a violent rage.
“[Cristiana] knew the character of her husband and his violent personality. When the murderous acts that culminated in Daniel’s death began, we believe she didn’t try to prevent [his] execution,” Salles told Globo TV.
The husband has already allegedly admitted to killing the soccer player after accusing him of raping his wife. Several friends who were at the couple’s house to celebrate the 18th birthday of the couple’s daughter allegedly helped Edison beat Freitas, according to the New York Post. Freitas was celebrating with the family and their friends, and Cristiana allegedly told police that she woke up to to find “the athlete rubbing his erect penis on (my) body,” according to the New York Post. It’s unclear when the photo in question was taken.
The family’s lawyer, Cláudio Dalledone, claimed that Cristiana actually tried to stop her husband from hurting the player.
“Cristiana tried to prevent the player from being attacked. More than one witness heard her calling for help to stop,” he told Globo TV.
About 21 people have been questioned about the murder, according to MARCA, a Spanish sports newspaper. Of those 21, several have been jailed, including the couple’s 18-year-old daughter Allana. Eduardo da Silva, 19, Ygor King, 19, David Willian, 18, and Eduardo Purkote, 18 have also been arrested for allegedly helping torture the player, who police believe was put in a car and then killed in a wooded area.
Freitas’ remains were found in a bush on October 27 with his genitals removed. They were later recovered from a tree where they had been tossed. The partial beheading caused his death, according to Paulino Pastre, the director of the Legal Medical Institute, MARCA reports.
Pastre is unsure if the player’s genitals were removed before he died or after.
"The partial beheading was the cause of death, but it's not possible to know which injury happened first and if he was alive when he was mutilated," he told the outlet.
Freitas has played with the São Paulo Football Club since 2015.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.