Brazilian police say they have found personal items belonging to missing UK journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.
The items include Mr Phillips’ boots and a backpack with clothes in, as well as Mr Pereira’s health ID card, a flip-flop, black trousers and boots.
The pair went missing while travelling by boat on a reporting trip in a remote Amazon rainforest on 5 June.
Mr Phillips’ wife and mother-in-law say they now presume the two men are dead.
“They are no longer with us,” his mother-in-law wrote on Instagram. The post was later shared by the journalist’s wife.
Last week, the police found possible human remains in a river near the town of Atalaia do Norte. Experts have since been analysing the “organic material”.
Blood traces found on a boat belonging to a fisherman, who has been arrested, are also being tested.
Another boat belonging to the suspect, named as Amarildo da Costa, was also discovered in the past 24 hours.
Mr da Costa, known locally as “Pelado”, has been questioned and charged with illegal possession of restricted ammunition.
The authorities were helped by searches carried out by the indigenous communities.
Over the weekend, they alerted the authorities to an area of vegetation on the side of the river where there were signs that a boat had been dragged through the area.
Bruno Pereira had many friends among the indigenous communities.
With increasing government cuts to budgets for indigenous protection, he helped train indigenous people to defend themselves against the increasing threat of illegal fishermen and poachers.
“It’s a huge loss for the indigenous – two men who fought and gave their life for the indigenous communities so we could live in peace,” one leader said, who asked to remain anonymous. “The community is shocked.”
Indigenous groups say both men have received threats for their work in the region, which has seen illegal fishing, logging, mining and drug trafficking. The indigenous communities fear the same.
“A fisherman financed by the narcos will do what they probably did to Bruno, end our lives – because they see us as an obstacle.”
Both Mr Pereira and Mr Phillip, who has written for publications such as the Guardian and the Washington Post, are hugely experienced and planned their journeys thoroughly. They reportedly had a new boat and plenty of fuel.
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