Portugese police believe that a killer who served 20 months for a gruesome murder before being released on appeal, may be responsible for two other murders.
Antonio Mascarenhas, aged 25, was convicted of the murder of a young mother, Tatiana Mestre, after her body was found in a burnt out car in August 2018. After serving just 20 he was released on appeal after judges agreed that the DNA evidence which helped convict him wasn’t sufficient to prove he murdered the woman. The DNA in question was found under the victim’s fingernails, on the ties that bound her, on cigarette butts recovered from the scene, one her clothing and in her vagina.
In the summer of 2022 the mutilated body of an Uber-type driver, Sandra Andrade was found in a suitcase hidden in a stone wall near Almancil in Portugal. Police were unable to recover any DNA however Mascarenhas was a client of the victim.
In February 2023 the body of a 25-year-old Brazilian was discovered hidden in scrubland. Like the first murder, the body was burnt but had also been partially devoured by animals. The victim’s credit card has been found in Mascarenhas’s car during a subsequent search. He is now in custody under drugs trafficking charges while prosecutors try to build cases for murder against him.