A soap opera actor named Jefferson Machado, who vanished nearly five months ago, has been found dead in a trunk outside of a home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The actor’s passing was confirmed on his Instagram page by a family friend named Cintia Hilsendeger.
“It is with great regret that we inform you that Jeff was found dead on 05/22/2023,” she wrote in the heartbreaking post.
Authorities said that the body of the 44-year-old was discovered bound and stuffed inside a wooden chest, which had been encased in concrete and buried 6 feet beneath the backyard of a house in the Campo Grande neighborhood, G1 reported.
“He had his arms tied behind his head and buried in a trunk that is very similar to the ones in his own house,” the family’s lawyer Jairo Magalhães said in a statement, per R7 News.
The attorney said that the corpse, which was identified using fingerprints, had a “line” on the neck, indicating that he was strangled.
Police footage showed the trunk getting exhumed from the ground — a task that reportedly took nine people to accomplish, the Daily Mail reported.
While the probe is ongoing, police are currently investigating a man who had rented the property. The unidentified suspect, who reportedly knew Machado, was last seen entering the house around a month ago.
“Jefferson was coldly and brutally murdered by envious, evil and, of course, unscrupulous people,” family friend Cintia Hilsendeger wrote on the actor’s Instagram account.
This marks the end of a long and tragic saga that began after the Rio native vanished in January with police reporting that he’d last been spotted in Campo Grande.
Machado’s family learned of his disappearance after an NGO contacted them to inform them that his eight dogs had been abandoned at the house.
During the ensuing months, the family received text messages from someone they believed to be impersonating the actor.
Machado’s mother Maria das Dores said she found the correspondence suspicious as it was rife with spelling errors and didn’t sound like her son.
She’d also stopped receiving calls from him, which the alleged impersonator claimed was because he “dropped his cellphone in the toilet,” Dores claimed.
The family became increasingly concerned after noticing that Machado’s cloud password had changed and that his location-tracking function had been disabled.
Born in Araranguá, Machado started studying to be an actor in 1997.
He notably starred in the 2021 film, “Efeito Placibo,” which he also co-wrote. In his final role before his death, Machado played a Philistine on the 2022 soap opera “Reis.”