Phillips’ family told CNN in an email that Fred Arruda, Brazil’s ambassador to London, wrote to them on Tuesday saying, “We are deeply sorry that the embassy passed on information to the family yesterday that did not turn out to be correct.”
According to the family, Roberto Doring, deputy head of mission at the Brazilian embassy in London, called them on Monday to tell them that bodies had been found.
In a statement, the family said: “We were told by phone that two bodies had been found but (due to it being still early morning in Brazil) no identification had taken place.”
Brazil’s federal police have repeatedly denied finding bodies during the search for Phillips and Brazilian researcher Bruno Pereira, and on Monday night said the day’s search was over ‘but nothing was found’ .
“The published information regarding the discovery of the bodies of Mr. Bruno Pereira and Mr. Dom Phillips is not accurate,” the federal police said. “As previously disclosed, biological material has been found and is being examined, along with the personal effects of the missing persons. As soon as anything is found, family and the media will be notified immediately.”
Indigenous organizations involved in the search also said information about the two bodies was inaccurate.
On Monday, Beatriz Matos, Pereira’s wife, said on Twitter that police told her family “no one has been found”.
“It is necessary to understand where the ambassador got this information from,” Matos wrote.
On Tuesday, police arrested a second suspect in connection with the couple’s disappearance, according to a Federal Police press release. The first suspect was arrested last week.
Police said the second suspect, a 41-year-old man, was being questioned and would be remanded for a custody hearing in City Court. They also said they seized firearm cartridges and a paddle, which will be analyzed.
Arruda said in his email to Phillips’ family that officials close to the investigation had “misled” embassy staff.
‘On reflection, there was a rush from the multi-agency team, for which I apologize wholeheartedly,’ he said, adding: ‘The search operation will carry on, sparing no effort. Our hearts go out to Dom, Bruno, you and the other members of both families.”
In a statement sent to CNN, Brazil’s foreign ministry also confirmed its ambassador’s apology for passing on “information that turned out to be incorrect.”
They were conducting research for a book project about conservation efforts in the area, which authorities have described as ‘complicated’ and ‘dangerous’, and which is known to be home to illegal miners, loggers and drug traffickers. international.