Amazon 'Pirate' Suspected in Kayaker's Death Is Killed

Police in Brazil provide new details about killing of Emma Kelty
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 10:00 AM CDT
Amazon 'Pirate' Suspected in Kayaker's Death Is Killed
Emma Kelty was kayaking solo on the Amazon River.   (Twitter)

Police in Brazil still haven't found the body of British adventurer Emma Kelty, but they say they have a pretty good idea of how she was slain. Authorities says a gang known as the "Water Pirates" or "Water Rats" came upon the 43-year-old's campsite and shot her with a shotgun, reports the Guardian. Kelty was able to send up a distress flare, but her assailants shot her one more time, attacked her with a machete, and dumped her body in the river before stealing all of her electronic equipment, police say. Three men are in custody, and more are at large. But the supposed ringleader, 24-year-old Evanilson Gomes da Costa, was found shot to death in his home in nearby Coari on Wednesday. Police think rival gangsters killed him in order to steal Kelty's money and gear.

Kelty had been on a solo trek up the river and made camp at a particularly dangerous area called Solimoes. She'd even joked on Twitter about the dire warnings she'd received. Police don't think the bandits set out to rob her specifically. "The gang operates like pirates and go out in a canoe looking and hunting for the chance to steal," says a police official, per Metro. Authorities think da Costa is the gang member who shot Kelty, whose previous adventures had included a solo trek to the South Pole. The military is helping search for her body. (More Amazon stories.)

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