Suspect Arrested in 2004 Kidnapping of Vitor Belfort’s Sister
In January of 2004, Priscilla Belfort, sister of then-number-1 contender for the UFC light heavyweight belt, disappeared. Vitor Belfort (pictured) would go on, despite his sister’s disappearance, to fight Randy Couture and win the belt later that month at UFC 46.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Authorities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have arrested Leonardo Luiz Batista on suspicion of his participation in the kidnapping and murder of Priscilla Belfort, reported Globo.com, a Brazilian news outlet.
Belfort, the sister of famed UFC fighter Vitor Belfort, disappeared on January 9, 2004. In 2007, Elaine Paiva confessed to participating in the kidnapping and murder of Priscilla as part of a plan to raise money owed to drug dealers. Police arrested Paiva and three others involved.
Police had arrested a suspect known as Parakeet in March of this year, making the arrest of Batista the second to be made almost ten years after Belfort’s kidnapping. Both are thought to be part of the group who kidnapped and murdered Priscilla.
Paiva, upon her arrest in 2007, confessed to burning and burying Belfort’s remains, but police never found any remains.
In his book published last year, “Vitor Belfort: Lessons of Guts, Faith and Success,” Vitor Belfort talks about the investigation of his sister’s disappearance, saying that the wound from his sister’s death has healed within himself.