A 59-year-old Brazilian evangelical congresswoman has been accused of masterminding the brutal murder of her husband.

Flordelis dos Santos de Souza was a church crooner before she was elected to congress in 2018. She claimed that her husband, Anderson do Carmo, had been slain by thieves in 2019 but new evidence suggests that she was the ringleader behind the plot to kill the evangelical preacher.

“The conclusion the investigation reached was this: that she planned this cowardly murder,” said homicide chief Antonio Ricardo Lima Nunes. “The motive was that she was unhappy with the way in which pastor Anderson lived his life and handled the family finances,” he added.

In the early hours of June 16, 2019, Do Carmo was fatally shot more than 30 times in his groin and thighs. There have been theories that Flordelis was the person behind the killing, but the congresswoman has repeatedly denied the accusations. However, the result of the investigation now points out to her being the architect of her husband’s murder.

According to the police, the conspiracy began in May 2018, when Flordelis and their scheming relatives began to poison Pastor do Carmo by sprinkling his food with arsenic. Flordelis and her accomplices allegedly had six failed or aborted attempts to kill do Carmo through poisoning or staged robberies before his body was riddled with bullets at their home in Niteroi last year.

The police discovered that Simone, one of the couple’s daughters, had trawled the internet for information on cyanide in food months before her father’s death. However, Simone denied the accusation and told the police her search was merely out of curiosity.

The police also discovered that do Carmo actually discovered his family’s plans to murder him so he threatened to bug all of their telephones before his death. This allegedly forced Flordelis and her accomplices to communicate using burner phones.

Nunes concluded that about 20% of Flordelis’s family had been involved in the murder. “It was a barbaric, cowardly crime,” he said.

As of Monday, five of Flordelis and do Carmo’s children and one of their grandchildren have already been arrested for the crime. Flordelis, however, could not be arrested due to parliamentary immunity.

Flordelis Dos Santos De Souza Flordelis Dos Santos De Souza has been accused of masterminding the brutal murder of her husband. Getty/ Vanderlei Almeda