“A dramatic change in just one day, but the river is just the same.Each kilometer is different, and just because an area is bad does not mean …”
This is the latest posting on Twitter of the British athlete who disappeared on the Solimões River in the Amazon. It was aired on the morning of last Wednesday, September 13 – since last month she was traveling by kayak, on a journey that began in Peru and was interrupted between the cities of Codajás and Coari (AM), on the banks of the Solimões River , with her disappearance. Her identity is not being revealed.
The Briton was discouraged following the route alone. He even made a joke of the situation in a tweet on the tenth day: “In Coari or near (100 kilometers above the river) my boat will be stolen and I will be murdered.”
According to her blog, the plan was to go down the river “without support or assistance”. The posting was made on August 9, when she was still in Iquitos, Peru. At the end of the text, she said she was aware of the difficulties but that he had no regrets. On the 12th, a day before her disappearance, she stated on Twitter that he had seen 30 to 50 men “armed with rifles and arrows” on boats.
Some items that belonged to her, such as clothes and shoes, were found on Friday afternoon by military personnel from the 9th District of the Navy. A kayak identical to that of social networking photos was also found. The belongings were on a sandbar in the Lauro Sodré community, between Codajás and Coari, some 400 kilometers from Manaus. The material was sent to the Civil Police, which opened an investigation to investigate the disappearance.
A police officer close to the investigation said the place where she was last seen is the same where a police chief disappeared last December. Thiago Garcez would have been murdered in conflict with local drug dealers – the body was never found. Twitter’s own comments suggest that she may have fallen victim to gangs in the area – such as the message she said saw dozens of gunmen on board. The Navy was informed last Wednesday at about 10:00 pm that the emergency locator of a 43-year-old Briton descending the Solimões River (river joining the Negro to form the Amazon) was fired.
According to the delegate Ivo Martins, who followed on Monday to Codajás with a team of the Specialized Police in Homicide and Kidnapping, the line of investigation that is being worked is a possible robbery, a constant crime in the region. He did not want to talk about the possibility that the Briton was kidnapped by traffickers.
In 2010, British journalist Helen Skelton traveled 3,234 km of the Amazon River in almost six weeks. But she did not make the journey alone: a support boat where she slept, showered and drank with her all the way.