By Janet Tappin Coelho in Rio de Janeiro
A British tourist has plunged to his death from the top of an apartment block in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police said.
Investigators believe the 29-year-old man, either fell from the roof of the block which houses an open air swimming pool or from his tenth floor rented apartment on Tuesday morning, (12 December) around 6am.
The victim’s body was found hanging from a pergola at the back of the building by the live-in concierge who manages the luxury condomium in Prudente de Morais Street, in the popular holiday resort of Ipanema.
Investigators identified the Brit as a married father with a three-year-old, whose wife is reportedly seven months pregnant with their second child.
Local police said they will release the victim’s name once they have informed his family.
Cops from Rio’s Tourist Police Station (Deat) said the man was on holiday with two friends and had been staying in the building named as the Colunas Residence, since 6 December.
The death is being treated as suspicious.
Detective Valeria Aragon, investigating the care, said: “This could be an accident or it could be murder, nothing is being ruled out. There may have been a fight or he may have been pushed.
“We are investigating what happened but what is clear is that this was a trip the tourists planned to enjoy.
“In a statement, one of the men who accompanied the deceased told us they had not been to any tourist hotspots yet but had visited a number of bars, had drunk a lot, visited brothels and invited several girls to the flat.”
Investigators added they had been advised by the victim’s friends that he used prescription drugs for a diagnosed mental illness.
The porter, who declined to be named, and who found the victim’s body said he was woken suddenly by a loud noise in the early hours of the morning.
He recalled: “The tourist came home alone around 3am. I believe his friends were already asleep in the flat.
“I was woken by a really loud crash several hours later. I sat up in bed because I found it strange as the noise had come from the back of the building.
“I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to see what had happened. I never imagined I would find such a devastating scene.
“It was shocking and very upsetting. I found a body hanging from the pergola. I was so shaken I returned to my room in disbelief because I thought I must be having a nightmare and sleepwalking.
“I decide to look again and when I went back I realised that sadly it was true, and I called the police.”
A police source, part of the investigating team, said: “A search of the apartment allegedly found various paraphernalia including drugs, prescription medication, Viagra and a fair amount of alcohol.
“We were also informed that quite a few women had apparently visited the apartment during the group’s stay and we’re looking into the possibility that a woman was with the deceased at the time of the incident.
“We are confused as to how the victim met his death. There is a possibility that he was disorientated and flustered about something before he fell from the building,” the local police source said.
He continued: “Unfortunately, it appears there is no security footage of the incident because CCTV cameras installed on the premises appear not to retain any recordings. It seems we will have to piece together what happened without the aid of
According to the building official the British holidaymakers were ‘playful but always polite and appeared well educated.’
The doorman said: “The always greeted people respectfully at the front desk. We noticed they appeared to have several women spending time with them on the rooftop swimming pool and staying overnight.
“However, when they had their parties they were always very discreet, and we never received any complaints about their behaviour from other residents.”
According to cops, the Brits were due to catch a flight home on Tuesday but this had now been postponed due to the circumstances.
Details of where the victim’s friends were staying was not disclosed. The British High Commission has been informed and officials are supporting the travellers.
Detectives are returning to the incident scene today to carry out further forensic investigations.