South American soap opera star, Jefferson Machado, has been found dead, four months after he went missing in January. He was 44.

On Monday, the actor’s body was found stuffed in a trunk and buried in the backyard of a home in Campo Grande, Brazil, according to multiple reports. They were found encased in cement by Brazilian authorities, as per a local media outlet, R7.

The Machado family attorney, Jairo Magalhae Pereira, confirmed the star’s death in a statement on Facebook: “It is with regret that I share the sad news of the passing of actor Jeff Machado, whose body was found with strangulation signs. This discovery confronts us with the cruelty present in our society, motivating us to seek truth and justice in the face of such impactful cases.

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“Preliminary information indicates that the actor’s body was found in a trunk, buried in a hole of considerable depth. This situation deeply saddens us and indignant in the face of the suffering faced by Jeff,” the statement continues.

Pereira added that his “commitment as a lawyer is to seek tirelessly for truth and justice. It is my responsibility to ensure that everyone involved in this brutal crime is held accountable and punished, and that Jeff’s family finds the support they need to get through this very painful time.”

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R7 also reported that the house where Machado’s body was recovered was rented by one of his friends, who’s identity remains confidential. The friend is currently under investigation.

Machado was reported missing on January 27 after loved ones found his eight dogs alone, the outlet states. Before the actor disappeared, he starred in the Brazilian soap “Reis”.

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