Wife finds severed head of former Brazilian soccer player

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Brace yourself. This gets graphic.

The wife of former professional soccer player Joao Rodrigo Silva Santos found her husband's head, severed and left on the doorstep outside their home, according to The Mirror.

She made the horrific discovery early Tuesday morning outside their house in Rio de Janeiro.

The player's eyes and tongue had been cut out while his head was placed in a rucksack, according to police.

Santos, 35, retired from soccer two years ago after a successful career playing for various teams in Brazil as well as clubs in Sweden and Honduras. Since retiring, he had set up his own business selling health foods and various supplements, according to the paper.

Santos was believed to have been nabbed by several men after closing his store Monday night, a spokesman told the paper.

“Every time a car passed by, she would go to see,” Santos' brother-in-law said of the late player's wife, who stayed up when her husband didn't come home.

“She was getting ready to go to work at around 5:30 a.m. when she heard a noise, opened the front door and saw his rucksack. When she opened it, it was his head,” he said to Brazil's Globo G1 website.

Santos' wife, Geisa Silva, is a social worker at a military base, and investigators are “probing whether Mr. Santos was murdered by a drugs gang,” the paper reported.

The police chief said that the motive is still unclear, but “there is nothing that would justify such a barbarous crime.”

The police are still looking for the rest of his body.

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