A popular Brazilian actor, Jefferson Machado, who was reported missing in January, has now been confirmed dead by family and officials.
Machado's body was discovered buried in a trunk in the backyard of a home in the Campo Grande neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, the Western Journal reported.
That home was reportedly rented by a purported friend of Machado, and that unnamed individual is now under investigation by Brazilian authorities as the possible suspect in the actor's murder.
Portuguese-language media outlet R7 reported last week that Machado, 44, had been found stuffed inside of a trunk and buried under concrete in the backyard of the Rio home rented by one of the actor's friends.
The body was positively identified via fingerprints and reportedly showed signs of strangulation, including a "line" around his neck.
Family attorney Jairo Magalhaes Pereira told R7, "He had his arms tied behind his head and buried in a trunk that is very similar to the ones in his own house."
The murder of Machado was also announced and confirmed in an Instagram post to the actor's account, which has been managed since he went missing by a family friend named Cintia Hilsendeger.
"It is with great regret that we inform you that Jeff was found dead on 05/22/2023," the post stated. "Jefferson was coldly and brutally murdered by envious, evil and, of course, unscrupulous people."
The post went on to thank the police and everybody who had helped search for Machado and vowed to provide more information when it became available.
The report from R7 noted that suspicions were raised among Machado's family and friends when he first went missing after it was learned that the eight dogs owned by Machado, who was "passionate" about rescuing and caring for animals, had been left alone in a state of "abandonment," which was not typical behavior for the actor.
The New York Post reported that Machado's mother, Maria das Dores, was also highly suspicious of text messages she received from her son's number after he went missing that, in her view, didn't sound like him and contained too many spelling errors.
She also believed that someone was impersonating her son with his phone due to the fact that wouldn't make or receive any calls -- an excuse that the cellphone had been dropped in a toilet was used -- and that the phone's location tracking was disabled and Machado's cloud password had been changed.
Attorney Magalhaes also issued a translated statement on Facebook that read, in part: "As Jeff's family attorney, I am on a mission to keep a close eye on investigations. Preliminary information indicates that the actor's body was found in a trunk, buried in a hole of considerable depth. This situation deeply saddens us and indignant in the face of the suffering faced by Jeff."
"My commitment as a lawyer is to seek tirelessly for truth and justice. It is my responsibility to ensure that everyone involved in this brutal crime is held accountable and punished, and that Jeff’s family finds the support they need to get through this very painful time," he added.