A man has confessed to the murder of a British teenager whose torso was found in a suitcase in Brazil, police say.
This case shocked me for many reasons. Firstly and most obvious were the callous actions of Mohamed D’Ali Carvalho Santos, murdering his girlfriend and then heading off for a night out before returning to chop her up and scatter her remains.
The second thing that surprised me was the tragic British girl’s age, just 17. How could the girl be living in Brazil at just 17? What sort of parents would let their child move to a foreign country, and one so far away, at just seventeen?
She wasn’t going away for a holiday, she was going to live there.
Were it my daughter my response would be ‘Not a chance, anything could happen!’ and to this poor girl it did. But there is more to this story.
Santos was not some upstanding member of the community, who had asked Cara’s mother for her hand in marriage and permission to take her to Brazil to look after her. No, he was an illegal immigrant and a drug dealer and was using Cara Burke in the hope she’d marry him and he’d be given permission to stay in Britain. He was caught out and deported and the naive Miss Burke followed him back to Brazil.
Amazingly her mother seemed to be OK with this, even though she couldn’t afford to fly over there should her daughter need her, nor pay for her daughter to return (she has been unable to fly over to Brazil to bring her daughter home), but if you look at Cara’s life, it isn’t that surprising.
Cara’s sad tale doesn’t begin in Brazil, or even with meeting Santos, she had:
…recently served three months in a young offenders’ institution for breaching an Asbo which banned her from entering shops in Southfields.
Clearly she had been heading toward an unfortunate end for a while. I don’t know the mother and cannot really make judgements on her parenting, but it certainly looks to me as if this may have been a case of the lazy parenting that seems to pervade Britain at present,
“She’s misbehaving, but how am I meant to stop her?”
“She’s stealing, but how am I meant to stop her?”
“She’s dating a drug dealer, but how am I meant to stop her?”
“She’s moving to Brazil, but how am I meant to stop her?”
Tragically, all she is able to do now is bury her daughter or at least the pieces of her that they have recovered.