Note from BW of Brazil: This blog was created over five years ago to provide more space and visibility to black Brazilian women and the experience of being black in Brazil as a whole. And since its inception, I wanted to share a wide variety of stories, interviews, photos and experiences so that these women aren’t presented in the same few stereotypes in which they are usually portrayed in Brazil’s mainstream media. But in these telling stories, sometimes I must also present unfortunate news. As I’ve written in past posts, if I wanted to host a blog that featured only police murders, corruption or crime in Brazil, I would easily have enough material to update an entirely separate blog several times a day. But that’s not the objective of this blog. Even so, I felt today’s story deserved to be shared as sad and revolting as it may be. Unfortunately, it involves two black women whose lives are forever ruined. One, through her life being taken away, and the other for taking that life.
After becoming aware of this story, besides the emergence of a calm sadness, numerous questions came to mind. What are the forces of our society that lead people to commit such atrocities? (I have my own ideas)…If the suspect/murderer wanted her own child and it was not possible through the natural method, why didn’t she simply adopt one? After all, we know that there are thousands of Brazilian children who need a home. Why did she choose to murder a black woman? Of course I’m not saying that she should have murdered a non-black woman, but I still wonder what role race played in her actions. Was it simply because, being black, she chose a victim whose child would also be black? Or did the choice of a black woman fit society’s view of black bodies as described by filmmaker Viviane Ferreira when she said “if one is going to assault a white body one still thinks twice, three times. To attack a black body there is no barrier, there is no limit”?
I also wonder if there is something deeper going on here. This is the second time this blog has presented a story in which a pregnant black woman was assaulted by another black woman who intended to steal her baby. The other case was back in July of last year. As disgusting and horrific as this crime is, like the black Rio man who confessed to killing more than 40 people who said he had an addiction to killing white women, I feel a certain desire to know what goes through the mind of a person who commits such a heinous act. My sincere condolences to the family of Rayanne Christini Costa Ferreira.
Missing pregnant woman in Central do Brasil is found dead
By Rafael Nascimento, Maria Inez Magalhães and Jonathan Ferreira
Missing for 13 days, the Civil Police discovered that Rayanne Christini, 22, seven months pregnant, and her baby are dead. She was kidnapped on the 13th, after leaving the house to picking up the child’s layette offered by Thainá Silva Pinto, 21. The story was revealed, with exclusivity, by Dia Online.
The remains of the young woman were found carbonized at Thainá’s house, in Magé, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio. There were many blood marks in the house, and police believe they tried to deliver the victim’s baby there. A dirty, bloody knife was found at the location.
Police also found pieces of Rayanne’s dress and her mortal remains in a trashcan in the house. An investigation has also found that female bones were found in the backyard.
Thainá and her husband, Fábio Luiz Souza Lima, 27, are being held at the Gericinó Penitentiary Complex in Bangu, accused of the crime. According to investigations by the Delegacia de Descoberta de Paradeiros (DDPA or Discovery of Whereabouts Police Station), she and the man plotted the crime to keep the baby. Thainá used the name “Lídia” to meet the victim.
According to the Civil Police, Rayanne was taken to Thainá’s house in Magé, where she was killed by three other people the same day, around 1pm. All are under arrest, and will respond to double murder and corpse concealment. The child’s body has not yet been found. The Civil Police received information that Fábio and a relative of Thainá were seen leaving the house with plastic bags in their hands.
The violence of the crime shocked even the DDPA police. “It was one of the most shocking cases in view of the brutality of the crime, it was in a medieval way that the crime was committed, the delivery certainly took place inside her house. A crude thing, a sick mind,” said police chief Elen Souto.
“There were a number of reports that Fábio had left with backpacks from inside Thainá’s house. We believe that the bags were used to conceal the bodies. Thainá was sure that Rayanne was eight months pregnant and was going to give birth at any moment. She is cold and covert. Fábio didn’t say anything about the crime. This group looks for pregnant women, preferably girls,” said Ellen.
The specialist analyzed more than 1,500 camera images, from Central to Magé, to reach the scene of the crime. The victim recharged her cell phone in the municipal, which allowed the agents to find the house. The body is in the Medical-Legal Institute (IML) and will undergo DNA examination with material collected from the victim’s mother. The result is set for 15 days from now.
A team of police officers went to Rayanne’s mother to inform her of the news. The reaction was desperate, since she hoped to find her daughter alive.
Rayanne participated in a group of social networks to earn donations and this is how she met Thainá. The two met in Central do Brasil where the victim was last seen, the security cameras of the location captured the moment. The two, however, drove to Magé, in the Baixada Fluminense.
The victim’s family didn’t know she had gone out to pick up the layette. She spoke only to a friend who even warned her of the danger of meeting an unknown person. Rayanne and Thainá were recognized by relatives in the images.
The victim leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter. The Alerj Human Rights Commission will offer psychological support to the family.
Understand the case
On the morning of December 13, Rayanne took her 3-year-old daughter to the day care. From there, alone, she took a train to Central do Brasil to pick up the layette for the baby promised by Thainá, who demanded that she go to Magé to pick up the clothes and diapers. The two met on Facebook in a group for pregnant women where Thainá made the offer.
The baby, who was to be called Maria Luísa, would have been born between January and February.
At four o’clock, Rayanne didn’t come to pick up her daughter from daycare as she did every day. The family found it odd and called the girl’s cell phone, which was off.
In desperation, relatives decided to file a police report on her disappearance. On the occasion, to assist in the searches, the Civil Police made available a poster with the woman’s face and telephone numbers for contact.
Who was Rayanne?
A daughter of separated parents, she lived with her mother, her first child, a three-year-old daughter and two brothers, one of seven and thirteen years, respectively, in Padre Miguel, in the West Zone of Rio. Rayanne, who at the age of 19 stopped going to school to give birth to her first daughter, spent the days taking turns caring for her grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Manifestation and search
Five days after her disappearance, on December 18, Rayanne’s family and friends staged a demonstration in Bangu, in the West Zone of Rio. They demanded from the police more effort in investigating the case. With posters and banners they walked several streets in the neighborhood. The day before, on the 17th, relatives of the girl were in Central do Brasil, in downtown Rio, seeking the whereabouts of the young woman.
On the same day, they also went to Duque de Caxias and Magé, in the Baixada Fluminense, to try to locate the young woman. At the time, a witness reported seeing Rayanne at the city bus station.
In the same week, Rayanne’s family found the victim’s old cell phone and they were able to access her Facebook, however, nothing strange was found. Already between the 17th and 19th, a friend of the family managed to trace her phone to Caxias, where the device had lost its signal. Relatives went to the city in vain.
False information and racist messages
During the Civil Police investigation, Rayanne’s friends and relatives received several false messages about the girl’s whereabouts. Many of them were racist. Jupira Costa, one of the girls’ aunts, said that she had received calls, messages and comments about the supposed whereabouts of the victim every day.
However, according to her, many messages were racist. “This week we received the following message from a person: ‘This baby doesn’t cost more than R$10,000 on the mercado negro (black market), even more premature, the value goes to about 15%, that is, it will be worth a maximum of R$8,000. It would be better to disentangle the organs and sell them separately. The profit would triple,’ said a message her aunt received. “This is absurd, we are suffering. We are getting a lot of calls. I have no more account of how many people called us to inform us of the supposed whereabouts of Rayanne,” she said.
Video shows Rayanne meeting Thainá Silva Pinto at Central do Brasil
Alerj commission demands police response
On the 22nd, the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly’s Human Rights Commission (Alerj) reported that it would act on the case with the DDPA to demand more agility about Rayanne’s disappearance. On the occasion, State Representative Marcelo Freixo (Psol) said he would schedule a meeting with the victim’s relatives and that he would contact chief Elen Souto, who was in charge of the investigations.
Imprisonment of suspect
After investigation, Thainá da Silva Pinto, 21, was arrested at her home in Magé, but didn’t reveal the whereabouts of the victim. In the recording delivered to the Civil Police, Rayanne, who had arrived at the train station from Padre Miguel in the Zona Oeste, hadn’t left the station. In the image it is possible to observe that the victim waited for the suspect. They talked for a moment and then left. The suspect was wearing striped clothes, a white T-shirt and shorts.
‘Family experiencing hell’
The lives of Thainá da Silva Pinto’s family turned upside down after police confirmed the perpetrator’s involvement in Rayanne’s disappearance. A brother of the accused even went so far as to say that he doesn’t believe in his sister’s involvement in the crime. However, he said that if she was guilty, she should pay for the crime. From a humble family, Thainá grew up and lived her entire life in Magé. With no any previous police record, she is the middle daughter of three siblings. The father and the mother are deacons of an evangelical church.
Thainá da Silva Pinto, suspected of kidnapping Rayanne Christini, lied to her family and said she was expecting a baby. In fact, relatives even bought a crib, stroller and various clothes for the alleged child of the accused, who would be called ‘Laura’. But in social networks, Thainá told another story. According to testimony from people who were sought by the suspect, she announced clothes in a Facebook group and said she was making donations because the items no longer fit her daughter, who had been born seven months before.
Woman suspected of killing pregnant woman confesses to crime
Thainá da Silva Pinto admitted to having kidnapped, trying to force a delivery and murdering Rayanne Christini Costa Ferreira
Courtesy of O Dia
Thainá da Silva Pinto confessed, during testimony to the police chief Elen Souto, of the DDPA, to having kidnapped, trying to force a delivery and murdering Rayanne Christini Costa Ferreira, 22.
Under arrest since the 20th, Thainá indicated the places where the bodies of Rayanne and the child were deposited. DDPA teams went to the indicated points and located the woman’s body in a backpack thrown in a vacant lot in Guapimirim, in the Baixada Fluminense. In another area, closer to the house where the suspect lived with her husband, in Magé, the body of the child was found, packed in a pink bag.
A team from the Homicide Office of the Baixada Fluminense (DHBF) went to the site, and a crime scene investigation was carried out at both sites, with the support of the Medical Legal Institute (IML). The remains were sent to IML.
On Monday, the crime scene investigation on the “Casa dos Horrores” (House of Horrors) – as the place where Rayanne was killed is being called – found the presence of human blood in the room, the kitchen and the dress of the victim found in a trashcan.
To get evidence of the crime, experts used luminol, a chemical that detects blood even if the site is cleaned. Thainá and husband Fábio lived in the residence. The material was sent for DNA examination, which will verify if the blood is indeed from Rayanne.
The Civil Police released photos of the house. In the images, it is possible to verify the burned garbage along with, according to the police, the clothes, the bones and the remains of the victim. Rayanne disappeared on the 13th, after leaving the house to pick up clothing donations from Thainá.
According to the investigations, Thainá planned the crime to keep with the baby, since, because of a polycystic ovary syndrome, she can’t get pregnant. She simulated a pregnancy and searched the social networks for a victim. She found Rayanne and managed to lure her for a meeting. At the Central, the victim got into the suspect’s car, was kidnapped and then killed.