DNA, fingerprints, cellphone calls: circle tightens in horror murder case

Mounting evidence related to slaying of Brazilian family points to guilt of nephew

Patricia Ortega Dolz
Forensic experts inspect the house where the four bodies were found.
Forensic experts inspect the house where the four bodies were found.efe
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Spanish police believe new evidence provides conclusive proof as to the identity of the killer behind the brutal murder of a family of four in Spain’s Guadalajara province.

The dismembered bodies of two adults and their two small children were found in plastic sacks on September 18 in their rented home in Pioz, Guadalajara after neighbors alerted police to a “terrible stench” coming from within the property.

I won’t rest until the monster who did this is in prison Uncle of murder suspect

Investigators initially believed the family may have been killed by professional hitmen after a drug deal went wrong, but all evidence now points to Patrick Nogueira Gouveira, the nephew of the murdered pair.

DNA traces of the 20-year-old have been found in the form of a drop of sweat on the floor of the house where the murdered family lived. His fingerprints were found under the electrical tape used to seal the plastic sacks containing the bodies and on the handle of a saucepan in the house.

In other key evidence, mobile phone records place Nogueira Gouveira at the scene of the crime on August 17, the day the murders are thought to have taken place as this was the last time his uncle Marcos Campos Nogueira was seen alive at his place of work.

CCTV footage also shows the young man entering the private housing estate where his relatives lived at 3am on that date, while data on his bus pass reveal he traveled to Guadalajara on August 17 and returned the following day.

For Spanish investigators, the case is as good as closed, although doubts remain about the motive for the brutal killings. The theory that the 20-year-old suspect was obsessed with his aunt, Janaina, and that the murders were a crime of passion is now losing credence. Instead police in Spain have spoken of mounting domestic problems after the nephew lived for a time with his relatives. They have also cited the “unstable” and “psychotic” character of the youngster.

Nogueira Gouveira fled to Brazil two days after the bodies of his relatives were found by Civil Guard officers. He initially told Brazilian police he had returned to the South American country over fears he “would be next.” Declaring that he was innocent, he said he had never been to house in Pioz which he had helped his relatives find on the internet.

However, as evidence against him mounted, the nephew changed his story. Via his lawyer, he stated the physical evidence found was a result of his having lived with his aunt and uncle, although he did not specify where he had done so.

Cellphone records place the suspect in the house on the day the murders took place

The young man is currently holed up at his family home after police in Brazil released him following initial interviews. But after some initial bureaucratic wrangling, Brazilian authorities are now working closely with Spanish police and have said they will look at filing criminal charges against Nogueira Gouveira once they have received paperwork relating to the case.

But for Waufran Campos, brother of the murdered Marcos and uncle of the suspect, the idea that his relative may have committed the crime is out of the question.

“He was a normal boy, caring, and he went to live with my brother because I told him to,” says Campos, who has spent the last few weeks in Madrid following the case and attempting to raise the €25,000 needed to repatriate the bodies of his family members.

“I am not surprised he came back to Brazil because my sister and his sister, who are both lawyers, told him to out of fear out of what could happen next,” Campos added.

“I won’t rest until the monster who did this is in prison,” he said.

Campos has WhatsApp messages from his brother before his death in which Marcos said his nephew had not yet come to the house in Pioz, which he had helped find and which they were going to share.

In another message Campos can be heard asking his nephew if he had killed his aunt and uncle and their two small children.

“I have just woken up. Marcos left work at 10pm and didn’t get home until 2am. They should investigate his workmates,” replied a tired-sounding nephew.

English version by George Mills.

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