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Teenager arrested over murder of British woman in Brazil

20 September 2017

Brazilian police said Tuesday that a British woman missing during an attempt to paddle the entire Amazon by kayak has been murdered and that three people are in custody.

Emma Kelty, who a year ago skied the South Pole, was 42 days into a 4,000m trip across South America.

According to reports, the gang stole a camera, mobile phone, tablet and money before killing Ms Kelty, and later tried to sell the items in the nearby Lauro Sodre community.

Her last known whereabouts was around 150 miles west of the jungle city of Manaus.

She had earlier posted: "So in or near Coari (100km away) I will have my boat stolen and I will be killed too".

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Before setting off on the river trek, Emma wrote on her website of her fears of "notorious drug barons" and "organ harvesting folks" along the route.

Daredevil Emma, who in January became the sixth woman in history to ski solo to the South Pole, was well aware of the dangers.

Brazilian police believe she pitched her tent beside the river last Wednesday before alerting her team in the United Kingdom that she was in trouble.

The state's previous civil police chief, Thyago Garcez, disappeared in December in "almost exactly the same remote stretch of the Solimoes river after an incident involving drug traffickers".

Ms Kelty regularly used social media to update her friends on her journey, documenting her travels.

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Olie Hunter Smart, an explorer who completed a similar route in 2015, said Coari was known to be a unsafe area.

"We wish to give our vast thanks to the Brazilian Navy, Police and Foreign Office for their action and support".

"The Emma that I met was an incredibly fearless and courageous person who lived life to the full".

Ivo Martins said Kelty's body was yet to be found, but that the teenager confessed to taking part in the slaying and said he was with six others at the time.

The family of a British kayaker thought to have been murdered in the Amazon have issued a statement paying tribute to her.

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Teenager arrested over murder of British woman in Brazil