A former television employee has been named a suspect in the brutal murder of his soap actor friend who was found stuffed into a wooden trunk buried under an outhouse in Brazil.
Bruno de Souza is said to have rented the Rio de Janeiro property one month before Jefferson Machado, 44, was found dead six feet under a concrete floor May 22, according to Brazilian news magazine show, Fantastico.
Authorities have yet to charge de Souza with any crime. His defense team said he is awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation with ‘serenity.”
Machado’s hands and feet were tied, he had a piece of cloth inside his mouth and a telephone wire was tied around his neck. Results of an autopsy released Thursday showed that he was either asphyxiated or strangled. The report did not reveal the cause of death due to the body’s decomposition.
In an interview aired Sunday, Machado’s mother, Maria das Dores, told Fantastico that he had paid de Souza 16,000 reais (about $3,200) – spread out over three payments – for help in locking down a role in a TV Globo soap opera.
Brazilian soap opera actor Jefferson Machado was found dead May 22 inside a trunk that was buried under the floor of an outhouse in Rio de Janeiro. The 44-year-old had disappeared from his home in January and officially declared missing in February
Rio de Janeiro authorities have named Bruno de Souza, a former employee at TV Globo, as a suspect in the murder of his actor friend, Jefferson Machado, who was found dead May 22 inside a trunk that was buried six feet under the concrete flood of an outhouse de Sousa had rented
The trunk was removed from under the floor by Civil Police agents in Rio de Janeiro on May 22
Das Dores said Machado handed de Souza an initial payment of 12,000 reais (about $2,400) and then paid him 2,000 reais (about $400) for filming and later gave him 2,000 reais for an expense she was unable to identify.
‘You have a dream that is so strong inside you that the impression is that you (are) blind to reality,’ das Dores said of her second son, who in 2022 played a role in Record TV’s soap opera, ‘Reis.’
Machado’s family learned he had disappeared from his home January 27 after a non-governmental agency found his dogs abandoned at his residence in Campo Grande, a neighborhood in the west side of Rio de Janeiro.
Six of the dogs were located wandering around Campo Grande and rescued by an animal rights group. The other two dogs died after one was hit by a vehicle and the other fell ill.
Machado was officially registered by the police as a missing person February 9.
Jefferson Machado last acting role was on ‘Reis,’ a 2022 soap opera that aired on Record TV
De Souza, who was fired from TV Globo in 2018, the network confirmed with police Sunday. His job title and the reason for his firing are unknown.
Fantastico revealed that de Souza was had the keys to Machado’s home and car the day he went to police to report that his friend had disappeared after traveling to the nearby state of São Paulo for a job interview.
Even with Machado missing, de Souza somehow was in possession of his friend’s bank cards.
Family lawyer, Jairo Magalhães, told Fantastic that $5,000 were withdrawn from Machado’s accounts.
‘He (Machado) continued to have transactions in his accounts even though he disappeared,’ Magalhães said.
Das Dores said the way in which she communicated with her son suddenly changed from talking over the phone to only texting via WhatsApp.
Brazilian actor Jefferson Machado was an avid animal lover and owned eight dogs
A jackhammer is used to break the concrete floor of an outhouse in Rio de Janeiro where the remains of Brazilian actor Jefferson Machado were found inside a wooden trunk
She recalled talking to him January 19 to congratulate him on his birthday and then chatted with him again two days later.
The grieving mother said she called him January 23, but he replied, ‘I can’t talk, mom,’ because he had dropped his cellphone in the toilet.
Das Dores said that after a while seemed like her son was not the person who was writing because of the grammatical mistakes.
‘I don’t have any more tears,’ she said. ‘I just feel pain because tears seem to ease the pain. I can’t even cry anymore. I have physical pain, soul pain.’
Rio de Janeiro investigators say Machado may have been killed in January.