Finnish trio shot dead in Brazil

Monday, December 5, 2011

Savonlinna, from file.
Image: SM.

It has emerged that three Finnish nationals have been shot dead in Brazil. Their bodies were found near João Pessoa in a sugarcane field on Friday.

The three were from Savonlinna but two of them — a married couple — owned a second home nearby where they spent winters. The retired surgeon, 72, and his wife, a retired gynaecologist, 68, had been trying to sell the nearby property. The third victim was a nurse, 60. All were from Savonlinna.

The bodies were found in Paraiba beside a road connecting Taquara and Pitimbu. G1 has reported local police are questioning five people and treating all the deaths as homicides. The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation does not plan to get directly involved but is helping the investigation with background information.

Local cash, a Finnish credit card, a mobile phone, and jewellery had all been left after the crimes. There were blood traces inside the house. The Helsingin Sanomat suggests a financial dispute relating to the house sale may have been the motive.

The couple has spent the last five winters in Brazil, but Finnish ambassador Jari Luoto called the area in question "dangerous and restless."