Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Flamengo ’keeper Bruno surrenders to Brazilian police

REUTERS , RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Souza, center, is escorted by police as he arrives at a police station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

The goalkeeper of Brazil’s most popular soccer team on Wednesday surrendered to police probing the disappearance and possible murder of his former girlfriend, in a case that has transfixed the soccer-crazed country.

Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Souza and a friend were ordered arrested while public prosecutors investigate the disappearance of 25-year-old model Eliza Samudio last month.

Police cars arrived at Bruno’s plush house near a Rio beach on Wednesday, but they did not find the goalkeeper or his friend, Luiz Henrique Ferrera Romao, known as “Spaghetti.”

The two later went voluntarily to a police station. Neither was charged.

Samudio, 25, filed a police complaint against Bruno in October last year, saying that she had been kidnapped, beaten up and forced to take medicine that would induce an abortion. She later gave birth to a baby she said was Bruno’s.

The public prosecution service for Rio de Janeiro State said on its Web site it had applied kidnapping and assault charges relating to October’s alleged events to be brought against Bruno and Ramao.

Bruno, who like many Brazilian soccer players is known by one name, has denied involvement in Samudio’s disappearance in comments to media.

Bruno’s wife was arrested in the player’s home city of Belo Horizonte, about 440km north of Rio.

Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo are the league champions and by far Brazil’s most popular club.

A police source said that Bruno’s arrest was ordered after a 17-year-old cousin of the goalkeeper testified that he and Romao had kidnapped Samudio and driven her to Bruno’s house in Belo Horizonte.

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