Police have arrested a Brazilian gang who allegedly raped, tortured and murdered a couple before eating their body parts when they robbed their home, police have stated.
In macabre allegations that have shocked the country, police believe Cristina Amaral suffered unimaginable torment in her home in Camaçari, in the State of Bahia, on 9 January.
Detectives say they discovered the 44-year-old's decaying body buried in a shallow grave alongside her 57-year-old husband Juvenal.
Authorities believe the pair were beaten and mutilated and Juvenal was forced to watch as his wife was raped in front of him.
Detective Maria Tereza Santos, head of the homicide division in the state, said she believes the suspects "practised cannibalism" and are investigating whether they were eaten whilst still alive.
"Internal organs, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes had been ripped out of the female's body and other body parts are missing," she said. "There is no indication of where these organs are.
"We found that soft tissue had been deliberately cut and sliced from the bones of the victims. We are also investigating whether consumption took place while the victims were still alive.
"Forensic experts have not conclusively proved the accused ate parts of their victims, but the evidence is pointing to this fact."
Police have arrested five people, Daniel Santos Neves, 29 and Carlos Alberto Neres, 25, and three teenagers aged 13, 14 and 16 after a tip off.
When the gang were arrested police allegedly found a 12-gauge shotgun, a pistol and a car that may have belonged to the victims.
The adults face charges of robbery, torture, murder, concealment of a corpse, illegal possession of weapons, and corruption of minors, while the boys are charged with rape and robbery, police say.
It was reported by the Mail Online that the grandmother of one of the suspects worked as a cleaner for the victims.
Police say that during a 24-hour ordeal the robbers became particularly annoyed because there was no cash in the home.
It is believed that the woman, who is not implicated in the crime, may have told her grandson the couple had won a recent compensation claim of around 70,000 reais (£15,000).
"The teenage grandson, apparently knew the routine of the victims and this was a premeditated crime," added Santos.
"It appears the suspects set out to rape, kill and we believe eat the victims as part of some sort of depraved ritual."