British canoeist Emma Kelty was tortured and raped as she died after being shot, villagers have claimed.
The full details of the adventurer’s last moments were revealed in a confession by one of the suspects hours after the attack.
Ringleader Evanilson Gomes da Costa, 24, died Wednesday after being shot by rival gangsters.
Residents of the small riverside community of Lauro Sodre, near to where the crime took place, said all seven men accused of her murder are well-known drugs users in the village.
And one local who knows da Costa – known by his nicknamed Baia – said the gangster spoke to him in the early hours of the morning following Ms Kelty’s death last Wednesday night, revealing what they had done.
The man, who didn’t want to be named, said: “He said he was one of four men. The woman had put up her tent on the beach in exactly the area where the Colombia drug traffickers go through, and which is crawling with pirates who wait for them to arrive to attack.
“These men aren’t pirates though, they are just drug users. We are all shocked that these men from our community did such a terrible thing to this woman.
“When the men saw her tent they thought it belonged to a Colombian with drugs, so they started firing from about 50 metres away. The woman was hit in the arm. She started waving frantically and screaming for help.”
He said that when the four men saw that she was a woman they attacked her and, still believing she was carrying drugs, cut off her hair with a knife while demanding to know where the drugs were.
According to the man, one of the group then slit her through with the knife, before all four men “sexually abused her”.
He said they then dragged her body to the river and dumped it in the fast-moving water.
He said: “The men fled into the forest after we all found out what they had done. We provided the police with the details and their identities. We’re all disgusted by what they have done.”
Yesterday the chief police officer in Coari, Jose Afonso Barradas Junior, also revealed that one of the suspects, Artur Gomes da Silva, had confessed to slitting the former headteacher’s throat.
He was arrested yesterday after an anonymous tip-off.
And Mr Barradas Junior also revealed how the “stupid” gangsters unwittingly alerted authorities to their crime after accidentally triggering a distress signal on her GPS device, police said today.
Investigators had first thought the emergency alert which pinpointed Emma Kelty’s exact…