The family of Dom Phillips on Sunday bid farewell to the British journalist who was murdered in the Amazon earlier this month along with Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.
Phillips’ wife Alessandra Sampao, siblings Sian and Gareth and brother-in-law Paul Sherwood attended the 57-year-old’s funeral in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro.
“Today Dom will be cremated in the country he loved, his chosen home,” Sampao said.
“He was a very special man, not only for defending his faith as a professional but for having a huge heart and great love for humanity,” she said.
Cian revealed that the couple were planning to adopt two children from Brazil.
Phillips, a freelance reporter who wrote for the Guardian and The Washington Post, was researching for a book on travel with Pereira, the former head of FUNAI, the federal Indigenous Affairs agency, who had been isolated and recently contacted. Tracks down the Kii tribes-when they disappeared in the remote Jawari Valley on June 5.
His remains were recovered from a tomb in the woods about 10 days later, when a fisherman confessed to having killed him, with Amarildo da Costa leading the Brazilian police there.
Phillips’ memorial took place two days after Pereira’s funeral, attended by indigenous peoples who honored him with song and dance.
Outside the cemetery where Phillips was cremated, people chanted “Who ordered Dom and Bruno to be killed?” opposed with signs.
Police said earlier this month that their investigation suggests there were more people involved outside Costa, but likely acted alone, with no boss behind the crime. That theory was challenged by the indigenous group, UNIVAJA.
Phillips’ family said they would continue to follow up with the investigation and demand justice.
“He was killed because he tried to tell the world what was happening to the rainforest and its inhabitants,” Sian said.