Sordid sex-fuelled mystery of castrated star
WHEN handsome 24-year-old footballer Daniel Correa Freitas joined the throng of family and friends celebrating the 18th birthday of a friend, he had little idea of the horror that lay in store.
A champagne-fuelled evening in a local nightclub had culminated early in the morning at an impromptu party at the family home of Allana Brittes, The Sun reports.
It was here, at 8am, that Freitas sent a series of selfies on WhatsApp showing him lying in bed alongside Allana's mother Cristiana.
"I'm going to devour the birthday girl's mum … and the dad is here,'' a grinning Freitas wrote to friends.
One replied: "That guy is going to beat you up."
Little could the friend have known the extent to which this casual, jocular prediction would come true.
Just hours after that exchange Freitas was dead, his body dumped in bushes in a nearby town - he had been castrated and nearly decapitated.
REVENGE ATTACK AFTER 'RAPE'
The gruesome discovery in the southern Brazilian city of San Jose dos Pinhais has made headlines around the world not in the least because of the bizarre events that have unfolded in its aftermath.
Three days after Freitas' body was found, Allana's father Edison Brittes Junior, a well-known businessman, admitted to killing him, claiming it was a revenge attack after finding Freitas attempting to rape his wife Cristiana.
The murder investigation has been full of twists and turns and among the issues puzzling detectives now are toxicology reports showing that the amount of alcohol in Freitas's bloodstream would have rendered him "very drunk" and probably "incapable of sexual assault".
Yet, while Edison insisted he acted alone, police have also arrested both Cristiana and Allana on suspicion of helping to cover up the football star's murder - and they are still looking for another three people they believe may have been involved in his death.
THE FOOTBALL PLAYER ON THE CUSP OF STARDOM
The claims and counterclaims in the shocking case have transfixed the Brazilian public, who are still coming to terms with the shocking death of a boy who played in their equivalent of the English Premier League.
Freitas, who was signed by leading club Sao Paulo two years ago, was tipped for a glittering future.
A popular figure among teammates, his soulful eyes and athletic frame meant he had no shortage of female admirers - among them Allana Brittes, who he met in 2017 while playing on loan for her home city of Curitiba.
This week, she insisted to police that their year-long friendship was purely platonic, although it was strong enough for Freitas to make the two hour journey from Sao Bento, where he was based, to join her intimate 18th birthday celebration.
Only 20 people were invited to the party in a Curitiba nightclub on October 26. The party eventually ended in the early hours of the 27th at the family home.
'I'M GOING TO DEVOUR THE BIRTHDAY GIRL'S MUM'
Exactly what happened next is the subject of the ongoing police investigation, but at some point after 8am, Freitas sent a series of WhatsApp messages to friends in which he claimed he was about to have sex with Allana's mother Cristiana.
Accompanied by a selfie showing him lying in bed alongside either a sleeping or possibly unconscious Cristiana - still wearing the dress she wore to the party - the grinning footballer wrote: "I can sleep here. There are several women sleeping all over the house."
In a subsequent message, he took things further: "I'm going to devour the birthday girl's mum … and the dad is here."
He followed it up with another message 10 minutes later, which read simply: "I ate her."
He was found dead by passers-by, practically beheaded with severed genitals hours later.
In the immediate aftermath, Edison did his best to appear normal, even calling a friend of Freitas to commiserate over his death.
In a recording, obtained by Brazilian news outfit Globo News, he called Freitas' death "a tragedy", offering to help and insisting that the victim had left the family's house alive.
"Man, we don't know what happened. He has not left (his) cell phone, he's gone," he said. "Allana is in shock, man. God, I had to try to soothe (her) down."
'HE WAS BEATEN AND KILLED CRUELLY'
His daughter, meanwhile, was also at pains to suggest she knew nothing. In a series of text message exchanges with Freitas' anguished mother and aunt she too insisted that Freitas had left her home alone at around 8am.
"He just said goodbye, got up and left," Allana wrote in one message to Freitas' mother, adding: "Let's have faith. It will be all right."
When his mother sent a subsequent audio message saying that Freitas was dead, Allana responded that she did not believe it. "Tell me it's a lie," she wrote.
A day later, she posted a picture of herself with Freitas on Instagram suggesting she was upset that he had not sent her a birthday card.
"This year you did not send me one", she wrote, alongside a crying emoji.
MURDER CONFESSION AND SCREAMS FROM THE BEDROOM
Two days later Allana's father was arrested on suspicion of murder - a murder to which he quickly confessed, claiming to have acted in a "moment of madness" after hearing his wife's anguished screams from their bedroom.
In a televised interview with a Brazilian television station, Edison Brittes described smashing down the master bedroom door down to find the football star lying on top of his wife.
"She was screaming and begging for help," he said. "What I did was what any man would do, because the woman that was there was not my wife, she was every woman in Brazil.
"It could be your daughter, sister, mother or wife. At that moment it was my wife, Cris, who I have been married to for 20 years."
He added: "When I threw him off my wife, I threw him on the floor and stopped her being raped by that monstrous scumbag. I hit him a lot, a lot and took him out of the house. I don't know if he was awake or unconscious or if he had just closed his eyes.
"I wasn't thinking of anything. I had a knife in the car, a small knife, which was with the tools in the trunk. I did not know I was going to do that, I was desperate, besides myself with rage. I looked in the trunk and saw what was there."
MORE THAN ONE ATTACKER?
Adding that he had put the footballer's body in the boot of the car, he insisted that while his friends had helped him take him out of the house they had tried to stop him from committing the crime. "But they could not do it," Brittes insisted.
His version of events was apparently backed up by this week by both Allana - who told police she too heard screaming from her mother's bedroom - and Cristiana herself, who in a statement to detectives claimed she woke to find the player rubbing his penis against her before her husband stabbed him.
"Cristiana confirms that she suffered sexual abuse without penetration by (Freitas) who rubbed his penis on her," her lawyer Claudio Dalledone Junior revealed this week.
"She was drunk, asleep and thought it was a dream. She saw him on top of her and started screaming."
The police are not yet convinced this is the truth, as investigator Amadeu Trevisan made clear this week.
"The facts don't add up," he declared, emphasising that it had not yet been proven whether Freitas had had sex with the suspect's wife - and, moreover, that police believed that three more people participated in the soccer star's beating.
"We are identifying who was in the house with the main suspect on that night. We believe three people entered the room with (Edison) and the player (in order) to kill Daniel.
"Regardless of what happened between Daniel and the wife of the main suspect, the reaction of the aggressor was disproportionate. He was beaten and killed cruelly."
Of that there is no doubt. Yet on Friday, as they prepared to question Cristiana, Edison defiantly continued to insist that he committed the crime on his own - hinting that he would do the same again if he had to.
"Rumours always get started but the truth will come out," he said. "I know I did what I did. I want everybody watching to think what they would do to keep the moral integrity of your family and help a small and fragile woman."