A man who kidnapped, raped and fatally strangled a 14-year-old Spanish girl in Brazil has hanged himself after the police caught up with him.
Nayra Gatti, who lived with her dad, a gardener from Argentina, and six-year-old sister in the Brazilian village of Caraiva, was found dead in December.
Caraiva is located in the municipality of Porto Seguro, a popular coastal tourist destination in the country’s north-eastern state of Bahia.
Before her death, the teen had reportedly got to know the Mexican-Brazilian actress Giselle Itie, who had at one point intended to adopt her and her younger sister.
Local man Renan Oliveira was identified as a suspect shortly after the alleged crime after he tried to dispose of his belongings and was reported by locals to the police.
It was on Tuesday, 26th January, that the Civil Police (Brazil’s investigative police force) of Eunapolis, a municipality in Bahia, formally named him as the prime suspect.
This followed a match between DNA traces found in the teen’s body and samples taken from Oliveira, aged 50.
However, the authorities were unable to bring him to justice, as he had apparently already taken his own life the day after he was made to give his samples to the police.
Before allegedly hanging himself, he had sent audio messages to three friends in which he denied the murder and pointed the finger at another man.
That man, whose identity was not divulged, was arrested but later released due to lack of evidence.
Itie, who starred as the protagonist in ‘Bela, a Feia’, the Brazilian version of ‘Ugly Betty’, revealed on social media that she had been blamed for the teen’s death.
The 39-year-old actress said she felt “guilty”, as she had returned to Rio de Janeiro and lost contact with the sisters before the crime took place.
The teen’s alleged murder took place during a 36-hour-long power cut in the region.
She was walking home from the supermarket with her dad and sister when she suddenly disappeared down a dark alley.
They searched for her for a day before she was found dead on a riverbank.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office has requested that the Judiciary temporarily suspend the dad’s custody of his remaining daughter.