Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife, Miriam, were laid to rest last week at the House of Peace Cemetery in Paulista in Northeastern Brazil, following an emotional funeral service at Emmanuel Anglican Church in Orlinda.
Recife’s two suffragan bishops and 50 members of the clergy participated in the service. Several hundred mourners overflowed the parish church, participants at the 29 Feb 2012 service tell Anglican Ink.
The sole suspect in the slaying of the bishop and his wife, the couple’s 29 year old son remains under police guard in hospital. The police completed their investigation on 1 March and will formerly charge Eduardo Cavalanti with murder once he is released from the hospital.
On 26 February 2012, at approximately 10:00 pm, neighbors heard a quarrel at the bishop’s home in Olinda and reported the disturbance to the police. When they arrived they found Bishop Cavalcanti dead and his wife critically wounded. Both had been stabbed. The bishop’s son was also found at the home and had almost two dozen knife wounds on his chest and abdomen.
Miriam Cavalcanti was taken to Tercentenary Hospital in Olinda but died en route. Their son was also taken to the hospital for treatment of the knife wounds. He was also suspected of having ingested a toxic substance. Illegal narcotics were also found, the Recife press reports, among the suspect's possessions.
It is not known whether he confessed to the police, but by the next morning Eduardo was reported to be the sole suspect in the slaying. The investigating officers stated they believed bishop’s son is alleged pulled a knife on his father and stabbed him. The bishop’s wife attempted to intercede and was stabbed also. Eduardo then turned the knife on himself and attempted to commit suicide.
According to George Cavalcanti, the bishop’s brother, Eduardo was sent to the United States when he was 16 to live with an uncle. The boy had become involved in drugs and petty crime in Brazil and it was hoped the opportunities for education and treatment available in America would turn him round.
However, the bishop’s brother said the young man was unable to break free of his drug habit, and also expressed feelings of shame over having been adopted and being black. Facing deportation from the U.S. for drug and theft arrests, Eduardo returned to his parent’s home in Brazil last month. Local accounts report that Eduardo was seen drinking at the beach on the day of the murder and playing with a knife – said to be the murder weapon – before the crime took place.
George Cavalcanti told Globo1 News the bishop’s 94 year old mother, Geruza Cavalcanti, attended the funeral but was distraught with grief. However, she did not know the cause of death and had been told her son and daughter in law had died in a traffic accident.