A man missing in Brazil is feared to be dead after his pregnant girlfriend received ominous texts.

Matthew Hemsley, 35, originally from Abingdon, is thought to have been murdered by a gang after he disappeared from his home in Candeias in the state of Bahia, on 28 May.

It has been widely reported that Mr Hemsley, who moved to the South American country seven years ago to live on a small farm, was seen having dinner in a local bar before going missing.

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After he left the bar, Mr Hemsley left a voicemail for his friend and was not heard from again.

Four days after the disappearance, Mr Hemsley’s pregnant girlfriend received a series of chilling texts.

They read: "She got messages saying 'don't you realise your husband's been killed?”

“What are you doing about getting justice?'"

Mr Hemsley’s father, Mike Hemsley, said he is “struggling” with his son’s disappearance. 

He told the BBC: "There's no rationale at the moment, and unfortunately it may have been robbery or any number of motives, but it's not known at this point.

"It feels very odd to have lost your son. It doesn't feel right to me. I am struggling. Things seem so trivial now.

"[The discovery of a body] would give some kind of closure. Somebody must know where it is.

"It might stop me feeling the guilt that I feel that... if I'd known he was living in such a lawless place... he wouldn't have been out there."

Police arrested a man for an unrelated crime who claims that he saw Mr Hemsley being killed, but this is yet to be verified. 

When police searched the area they discovered the missing Brit’s passport on his farm and his bank account has not been used since he disappeared.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is liaising with local police on the matter.


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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