On June 17, 2022, the Brazilian police announced that they had identified British journalist Dom Phillips’s remains, and the next day they confirmed a second set of human remains belonged to Pereira. Phillips and Pereira had been shot dead with hunting ammunition. The men had gone missing in the Brazilian Amazon in early June. Phillips and Pereira were last seen alive traveling through the Javari Valley in the Brazilian Amazon — a region that has seen violence and threats attributed to loggers, hunters and drug dealers illegally entering Indigenous territory. Phillips had been researching and reporting on the violence before he was killed.

Police arrested three suspects: a fisherman named Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, his brother, Oseney da Costa, and Jeferson da Silva Lima. They also identified five more people who helped hide the bodies. Brazil’s Federal Police said the suspects acted alone and were not part of a criminal organization. However, a local Indigenous group leading the search efforts, UNIVAJA, has disapproved with this theory, saying in a statement that they had previously informed police that there were criminal gangs invading Indigenous lands in the region.