Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil footballer surrenders in missing woman case

Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes in a file photo from May
Image caption Bruno Fernandes is team captain of Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo

The goalkeeper of Brazil's most popular football team has surrendered to the police in connection with the disappearance of his former lover.

Bruno Fernandes, who plays for Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo, is being investigated after Eliza Samudio went missing nearly a month ago.

A teenage cousin of the footballer told police she had been abducted and was dead.

Ms Samudio had said that the married footballer was the father of her baby.

'Clear conscience'

The goalkeeper walked into a Rio police station on Wednesday night, shortly after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Police had earlier arrested his wife, Dayane Souza, and several of his friends.

The warrants were issued after a 17-year-old cousin of Mr Fernandes told police that he had taken part in Ms Samudio's abduction with a friend of the footballer, Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao.

According to police, the youth told them that Ms Samudio was dead but did not say how she died, nor where her body was.

On Monday, Mr Fernandes told Brazilian radio that he had a "clear conscience. In the future I'll be able to laugh at all this".

The BBC's Ana Pisarro says the case has transfixed the Brazilian media, combining as it does all the ingredients of a Brazilian TV soap opera.