By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
In the span of six years three members of the same family were shot, two of them died. Now the grave of one of the victims was broken into and the head of the corpse removed.
Sabrina Tavares de Almeida, 31, was shot dead in Nova Iguaçu, Brazil in August of 2022. She was buried in Iguaçu Velho Cemetery which is also known as the Cemetery of the Slaves. It's located on a dirt road with land and brush bordering the graveyard.
On March 17, 2023, the tomb was broken into, and the head of the corpse was taken. In place of the head "a clay alguidar used for rituals with burnt objects inside were place where the head was." There were bottles of drink and papers surrounding it.
The cemetery administrator told police he had not seen anyone strange on the grounds in the early hours of March 16 to 17 when it's believed the tomb was breached.
To get to the corpse, the concrete lid was shattered by blunt force, and then the wooden coffin was also broken.
Experts say the violation of the tomb was to use the head for dark rituals.
Jorge Luiz Gomes de Almeida, 52, Sabrina's father found out his daughter's tomb was desecrated a month after it happened. He went on April 11 to place flowers on her grave, which is when he found the broken tomb. This is when he was told that a report had been issued to the police, however they offered no explanation why the family had not been told before now.
Jorge said, "There they said that the tomb had been moved and that I had to wait for a report [from the Civil Police] to be ready to know what happened. Forty days later, the document was ready and it was found that they stole my daughter's head and performed a religious ritual."
According to Jorge the Civil Police had not provided any answers to the family.
This story of murder begins earlier when Sabrina's husband Cristiano da Silva Ozório Ferreira, a military police officer was murdered on the doorstep of their home. He was talking to a person when he was hit by a shot from a passing vehicle. Cristiano was a retired soldier and worked in the 20th BPM.
At his death his property and pension was given to his widow, however his brother Mateus da Silva Osório Ferreira contested the will but lost. He also believed she was responsible for his brother's death, however the reason for this was never explained. After this he threatened Sabrina.
In August, 2022, a masked intruder wearing gloves entered the home and shot Sabrina while she slept, as well as her mother Fatima de Azevedo Tavares. Sabrina's mother pretended to be dead but survived the ordeal. Nothing was robbed from the home.
At the time, it was reported that two men participated in the crime, but only Matthew was identified. The accomplice would have been the driver of the motorcycle used in the action.
According to investigations by the Baixada Fluminense Homicide Police the prime suspect was Sabrina's one-time brother-in-law. Four months after the crime, in December, 2022, he was arrested for her murder and the shooting of her mother.
On July 20, 2023, Judge Adriano Celestino Santos of the 4th Criminal Court of Nova Iguaçu, ordered the release of Mateus da Silva Osório Ferreira, during a hearing of the case.
"Considering the testimonies given at this hearing, this magistrate understands that the evidence of authorship in the face of the accused remained fragile, so I understand that he can respond to the process in freedom, the [defendant] is of good antecedents, having a fixed address and lawful work, not demonstrating risk to public order." Santos wrote.
He was set to return to court on August 28, 2023.
Even though the authorities believe the theft of the head and the crime are not connected, there are dark rituals where taking a part of the victim continues their punishment in the afterlife. The using of the dead woman could also have been used in witchcraft ceremonies, in order to secure the absolution of the main suspect.
As of December 2023, there is no mention through any news publication including those based out of Brazil, concerning the outcome Mateus da Silva Osório Ferreira's day in court. Was he found guilty of murdering Sabrina or was he released?
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