Ex-Brazilian soccer player beheaded

Police in Brazil are on the hunt for a killer after a former professional soccer player was abducted and murdered, his severed head reportedly left on the doorstep of his home outside Rio de Janeiro.

According to the Daily Mail, Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos, 35, was closing up his shop Monday evening when he was kidnapped by a group of men. Later that night, Silva Santos’ wife reported him missing. Then, early Tuesday morning, she found the gruesome discovery on her doorstep when she left for work.

"Around 4:30 a.m., she heard a noise, opened the gate and [saw] his backpack," reported G1 Globo, via Google Translate. "When she opened it, it was the head."

According to the Daily Mail, Silva Santos and his wife, 31-year-old Geisa Silva, a social worker with the military police, had been together for 11 years. Investigator Rafael Rangel told Brazil’s O Dia newspaper that he was unaware of any specific threat that was made to Silva Santos or his family.

Silva Santos played for Bangu, Madureira and Boavista — all soccer teams in the Rio de Janeiro area. Silva Santos’ friend, Bruno Santos, told G1 Globo that Silva Santos had also played professionally in Sweden and Honduras.

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