The cadaver of Brazilian actor Jefferson Machado was discovered buried in a trunk on his own property in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.
The discovery brings a grisly conclusion to the star’s mysterious and unexplained absence over the past five months.
On Thursday, Machado’s friend Cintia Hilsendeger posted from the actor’s Instagram account to break the hideous news of his likely murder to his over 14,000 followers.
“It is with great sadness we report that Jeff was found dead on 05/22/2023,” Hilsendeger wrote in Portuguese. “Jefferson was murdered in cold blood by jealous, evil, and—of course—unscrupulous people.”
The actor’s loved ones first became concerned about his well-being last January when his eight dogs were reported roaming about the neighborhood, apparently neglected in their owner’s absence.
The family were contacted by someone on Machado’s phone claiming to be the slain actor, but they quickly suspected that the correspondences came from an imposter with an apparently dismal spelling.
The individual refused to make calls on the pretense that he had dropped his phone in the toilet, and suspicions were only raised when the inheritor of Machado’s identity disabled location sharing and changed his iCloud password.
Authorities say that the body was found with arms bound behind the back in a trunk, with a mark on the neck indicating a death by strangulation.
Machado was a talented multidisciplinarian with a career spanning over two decades with recognition as both an actor and journalist.
While he would sometimes fluctuate between these distinct career paths, he had begun to acquire national fame in the entertainment industry at the time of his death, writing and starring in the 2021 film “Efeito Placebo.”
His last role was a minor part as a Philistine in the series “Reis,” an epic telenovela about the Israelite kings of the Old Testament. He was 44 years old at the time of his death.
In a twist worthy of Patricia Highsmith, police have identified Machado’s friend Bruno Larrubia as a suspect in the case. Machado was seen celebrating his birthday with Larrubia in January not long before the actor’s disappearance, and the trunk in which the actor’s body was found had been rented by Larrubia since 2022, according to Brazilian press.
Another suspect is an unnamed man who had rented Machado’s property, who was reportedly last seen at the home about a month ago.
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