A Rio dos Cedros, Brazil father is set to face a trial by jury after being accused of killing his breastfeeding wife and newborn son by spiking his partner's food with rat poison.

Luiz Edivaldo de Souza, 35, reported killed his wife, Josiele Lopes, 36, and their three-month-old son in the Brazilian municipality of Rio dos Cedros in September last year.

Authorities began their investigation after the couple's eldest son, 17 at the time, approached the police to file a police report. Investigators found enough evidence to conclude that De Souza laced his wife's food with rat poison. 

The Lopes matriarch was breastfeeding her baby at the time, reported News.com.au. It’s believed the chemicals contaminated the milk and killed her baby. Lopes, upon falling ill, had begged her husband to drive her and her child to the nearest hospital.

Instead, De Souza reportedly brought them to the remote wooded area of Rio dos Cedros in Santa Catarina, some 118 kilometers away from their home in Itapema. According to Yahoo! News, Souza proceeded to bury the dead mother and newborn in a shallow grave. By then, the two were believed to be already dead by poisoning.

After Lopes' disappearance, De Souza continued to send messages to the victim's family posing as his dead wife to establish an alibi. The suspect blocked the numbers of the victim's concerned relatives in the days that followed.

The authorities were able to exhume Lopes and her baby's bodies only on Sept. 23, 2020, a week after they were reported missing.

De Souza is set to face a trial by jury in his hometown of Itapema following the recent court ruling. The accused was formally charged in October last year.

Authorities believe Lopes may have been seeking a legal separation from her husband due to abuse before the killing. De Souza's legal team has until the end of next week to appeal the decision, noted 7NEWS.

If the decision is not appealed by then, the court will schedule a trial date and De Souza will respond to charges of homicide, concealment of the corpse, and procedural fraud.

NEWBORN CERTIFICATES A Rio dos Cedros father will face trial by jury accused of killing his breastfeeding wife and newborn son in Brazil. Andresr/ Shutterstock