A 32-year-old merchant has been missing since Sunday (12), after informing him that he was going to a bar in Gardênia Azul, a neighborhood in the west side of Rio, in the company of an acquaintance. Thomas de Souza Barros Lima’s last contact with his family was through a WhatsApp message sent to his wife, in the middle of the night, which left her on alert: “If it goes bad, you know where I am.” Police work on the assumption that he is dead.
According to witnesses, the merchant was involved in a fight and was dragged to a dance within the community, located as Campo do Favelão, in Gardenia. During the day, the merchant’s car was found in a nearby region, burned and empty.
The family says he was ambushed and executed. They are suspicious of the participation of militiamen in the area. The case is being investigated by the DDPA (Delegation of Discovery of Whereabouts). “The investigative line of the police is murder and concealment of corpses. We believe that this may be related to the militia in the region,” he told the UOL delegate Elen souto.
Message with alert
“Love, I’m in Gardenia. If it goes bad, you know where I am,” says Thomas’ message to his wife in the early hours of Sunday, at 3:20 am. Almost an hour later, at 4:16 am he wrote “Gardenia”. This was the last contact made by Thomas and after that, the information that reached the family was that he had been executed.
Thomas de Souza is a resident of the community of Rio das Pedras and the owner of a bar in Pechincha, a neighborhood on the west side of the city. At 1:30 am, he closed the establishment and decided to go out drinking, accompanied by Jefferson Lima, better known as a DJ. The two went to a nightclub next to the bar, then decided to go to another establishment in Gardenia, a neighboring neighborhood, according to the family.
The reports that reached the family inform that, after the fight registered on the spot, the merchant would have tried to negotiate, but ended up being shot dead near a field.
“When he sent another message with the word Gardenia, we believe he was asking for some kind of help, but his wife was sleeping at home with her son, and she only saw the message after 7:00 am,” he said. Thainá de Souza, sister of Thomas.
She was worried, alerted us around 10am. He hadn’t shown up, which was weird, because he wasn’t like that. We started looking, friends started looking, we went to Gardenia, nobody wanted to say anything, until we received the information that ‘they caught the guy from the White Ford Fusion'”.
Hours later, the car was found burned on Ayrton Senna Avenue, Barra da Tijuca, west side, but without any trace of a body.
The car is being inspected and at the indicated crime scene, agents found traces of blood. One of the possibilities is that Thomas’ body was dumped in a mangrove near the region, but so far there are no signs to prove it.
friend is missing
The man who was with Thomas was seen buying gas on Sunday morning. Since then, the family has tried to contact Jefferson to find out what happened, but they can’t find him, says Thainá.
That my brother was executed, that we already know, there is no doubt about it. However, our family just wants the body and understand the reason for all this, since he was a good boy, hardworking. He had his family, the children he was in love with, the children just cry, they are desperate. My 9-year-old nephew asks if he can at least bury his father, say goodbye, asks about the body and we don’t know what to say. We don’t know what happened, what led to it”
Thomas was married, father of a 2-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. According to the family, he had been a resident of Rio das Pedras for many years, had always been to Gardenia and had no problems there.