Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos, a former Brazilian soccer player, was beheaded Tuesday. His wife, Geisa Silva, found the decapitated head of her husband in a rucksack on her doorstep early that morning after reporting his disappearance the night before.
Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos had retired from soccer and owned a health food store. The 35-year-old entrepreneur was closing up his shop Monday night when he was kidnapped by a group of men, according to the Daily Mail.
His 31-year-old wife reported him missing later on that around 9 p.m. When Silva Santos didn't return, Geisa Silva stayed up all night waiting for him until about 4:30 a.m., when she heard something outside.
"She was getting to ready to go to work at 5:30 a.m. when she heard a noise, opened the door and saw his rucksack. Inside was his head," a relative told The Mirror U.K. "From what I know, neither had any enemies."
Silva Santos' tongue and eyes had been cut out in what authorities believe was a drug gang execution. Police, who are searching for the culprits, called it a "barbarous crime."
Investigator Rafael Rangel told Brazilian paper O Dia that there had been no threats on Silva Santos or his family. The former soccer player even played for Rio de Janeiro local teams like Bangu, Madureira and Boavista— all teams that receive much more support than international teams. He also played for the Swedish Osters.
One theory behind the gruesome murder is Geisa Silva's connection to the effort to clean up Rio de Janeiro before the city hosts the World Cup in June and July of next year. She is a social worker with the military police and was helping to arrest the drug lords that ruled the Sao Carlos favela in North Rio.
The rest of Silva Santos' body is still missing.