The wife of a former Brazilian soccer player reportedly found her husband’s decapitated head on her porch in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday morning, stuffed into a sack.
Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos was reportedly kidnapped and decapitated by drug traffickers who cut out his tongue and eyes before leaving his head for his wife to find, the Mirror reports. The victim’s brother-in-law said that Santos’ wife, Geisha Silva, waited up all night for her husband to come home.
Santos played for Rio club teams Bangu and Nacional and for teams in Honduras and Sweden before retiring in 2005.
Geisha Silva works as a social worker for an organization trying to reclaim Rio’s shanty towns from the drug cartels ahead of the 2014 World Cup that Brazil will host, and investigators are looking into whether her work at a military police base may have motivated the killers. Police do not yet have a suspect in the murder.
The killing is just one of many gang-related crimes against soccer players in recent years. Some top Brazilian players have had family members kidnapped by gangs and held at high ransoms. Just two weeks before Santos’ murder, a top drug cartel promised a “World Cup of terror.”