The body of a South American soap star missing since January has been found stuffed in a trunk and buried in the backyard of a Campo Grande, Brazil, home, according to multiple reports.
According to local media outlet R7, the remains of Jefferson Machado were recovered by Brazilian authorities on Monday. The trunk in which the 44-year-old actor’s body was discovered was encased in cement, the outlet reports.
In a statement on Facebook, the Machado family attorney Jairo Magalhae Pereira confirmed the star’s death.
“It is with regret that I share the sad news of the passing of actor Jeff Machado, whose body was found with strangulation signs,” the statement reads. “This discovery confronts us with the cruelty present in our society, motivating us to seek truth and justice in the face of such impactful cases.”
“Preliminary information indicates that the actor’s body was found in a trunk, buried in a hole of considerable depth. This situation deeply saddens us and indignant in the face of the suffering faced by Jeff,” the statement continues.
“My commitment as a lawyer is to seek tirelessly for truth and justice. It is my responsibility to ensure that everyone involved in this brutal crime is held accountable and punished, and that Jeff’s family finds the support they need to get through this very painful time,” the statement adds.
According to R7, the house where Machado’s body was found was rented by the actor’s friend, who is currently under investigation and has not been publicly identified.
Loved ones first reported Machado missing January 27 after his eight dogs were found alone, per the outlet.
Prior to his disappearance, he starred in the soap opera Reis.