- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The severed head of a former professional soccer player in Brazil was discovered by his wife Tuesday morning on the doorstep of their home, police said.

Brazilian authorities have launched a manhunt after the wife of Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos made the gruesome discovery as she left the house in Rio de Janeiro for work, the Daily Mail reported.

The eyes and tongue of Geisa Silva’s husband had been cut out and his head placed inside one of his own backpacks, police said.

Mr. Santos retired from soccer two years ago and recently set up his own business selling health foods and dietary supplements, the Daily Mail reported.

Lead murder investigator Rafael Rangel said witnesses saw armed men kidnap the businessman outside his shop around 7:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. EDT) Monday, the Daily Mail said.

Mr. Santos‘ brother-in-law, who wished to remain anonymous, told Brazil’s Globo G1 of how Mrs. Silva came to find her husband’s remains.

“She was getting ready to go to work at around 5:30 a.m. when she heard a noise, opened the front door and saw his rucksack,” he said. “When she opened it she discovered it contained his head.

“I did not want to look but the people who saw it said they had gouged out his eyes and cut off his tongue,” he said.

Neighbors said they heard Mrs. Silva screaming: “My God, it’s Joao! It’s Joao’s head.”

The brother-in-law said family members positively identified a torso found next to the Guandu River in Queimados in Greater Rio de Janeiro by a birth mark on Mr. Santos‘ stomach, the Daily Mail reported.

Authorities have no motive for the killing but believe Mr. Santos may have been killed by a drug gang because of Mrs. Silva’s work at a local military police base.

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