The Brazilian man accused of killing and dismembering a British teenager and stuffing her torso in a suitcase confessed to the murder on Friday in a deposition to police, his lawyer said.
“He confessed,” Odair de Meneses said, referring to Mohamed D’Ali Carvalho Santos. “But he is not fully responsible for his acts because he was taking drugs nonstop during the four days prior to the killing.”
After the four-hour deposition, a British reporter asked Santos if he had anything to say to the girl’s mother.
“Tell her I am sorry,” Santos responded in English. “I did not know what I was doing.”
Earlier, Santos told The Associated Press that he doesn’t remember most of what happened the night Cara Marie Burke died because he was high on cocaine.
“I don’t remember much,” Santos said in an interview through the bars of his jail cell. “I had used too many drugs.”
Hours earlier, however, Santos denied that he killed Burke. The denial came during comments to reporters after he guided police to the remote area where he allegedly tossed Burke’s head and limbs from a bridge.
“It wasn’t me,” Santos said. “I deny it.”
Police say the 20-year-old already had confessed to killing 17-year-old Burke on July 25 before cutting up her body because she threatened to tell Santos’ parents he was a drug dealer and addicted to cocaine.
Police inspector Jorge Moreira da Silva said Friday that authorities are searching for a man named Jorge accused of helping Santos dispose of the body parts, but said that the man is not suspected of taking part in Burke’s killing.
Burke’s torso was found Monday in the suitcase on the banks of a river in Goiania, about a two-hour drive from the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.
During the trip to the site where the body parts were dumped, Santos became angry with reporters after he was asked if he remembered where he tossed the remains.
“I threw her in your house,” he replied, snarling.
Photos found on cell phone
After stabbing Burke to death, Santos attended a funk concert before returning to dismember her body, da Silva said.
Detectives found blood in Santos’ bedroom, living room and bathroom. A photo found in Santos cell phone appeared to have been taken in a shower stall. It showed Burke’s severed head placed on the chest of her torso along with a bloody butcher knife.
Police said Burke was Santos’ girlfriend until several weeks ago, but the teenager’s family insisted the two were never a couple.
Burke’s brother Michael told The Times of London that his sister had been due to return to London several weeks ago, but was injured in a motorcycle accident on the way to the airport.
“My mum had paid for the ticket home and we were looking forward to having her back,” he told the newspaper.
Michael Burke said his sister traveled to Brazil three months ago with two Brazilian friends and met Santos after her arrival.
“He met her out there. They were not a couple. They had only known each other for a short time,” he told The Times.
The BBC reported that Santos said in an interview that he was not Burke’s boyfriend, and responded “not exactly” when asked if he had killed Burke in the way that Brazilian police described.