Bruno Fernandes, Brazilian soccer star, faces trial after being accused of killing his missing lover and alleged mother of his child in 2010.
Eliza Samudio went missing in June of 2010, and her body has never been found. Police arrested Bruno and two others after their investigation led them to believe the three had assaulted and killed Samudio, then fed her body to dogs. Several others have been arrested as well for being suspected of being involved with the disappearance of the alleged lover.
The three murder suspects have consistently denied any wrongdoing in the disappearance or killing of Samudio. At the time in 2010, Bruno was goalkeeper and captain for Flamengo, Brazil’s most popular soccer club, and married to another woman. The team immediately suspended Bruno’s contract after he was arrested for the killing.
Before the disappearance, Samudio had come forward and said that the married, and fan favorite footballer was the father of her baby.
The trial which began on Monday in Contagem, Brazil has gained massive media attention and was being compared to the O.J. Simpson trial.
The two other men charged with the murder are Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao, known as Macarrao, and former policeman Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, known as Bola.
Fernandes’s ex-wife Dayanne Rodrigues and an ex-lover, Fernanda Gomes de Castro, face charges of abduction and false imprisonment, in connection to the case.
Bruno was formally charged with murder, kidnapping, hiding a body, forming a criminal gang and corrupting minors. According to police, Bruno’s teenage cousin stated that Samudio’s body was cut up and some parts were fed to dogs, while other parts were buried under concrete. The case has led to debate in Brazil concerning misbehavior by professional athletes and growing crime against women.
The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.