Police discovered she had made contact with other poor, young mothers in Rio de Janeiro after joining WhatsApp groups for people wanting to donate baby items, such as clothes, nappies and toys.

Pinto, who used the name Lidia in the groups, would say she had a daughter herself, was a churchgoer and had clothes and a baby stroller to donate.She had arranged to meet some of the other women too, but had always cancelled after finding out they would be coming accompanied by friends - frustrating the couple's alleged plans.

Single mother Ms Costa, however, left her home in the Bangu area of the city on her own on December 13 after dropping off her three-year-old daughter at the creche, saying she was going to collect donations for her baby.

After meeting Pinto at the Central do Brasil train station in Rio, she convinced her to accompany her back to her home, where husband Lima was waiting, it is alleged.

Police believe that, after cutting through Ms Costa's belly, the couple discovered that Ms Costa was only seven months pregnant, not eight and a half as she had told them.

Police chief Elen Souto, from Rio's Department of Missing Persons, said a knife was found in the home and there were pools of blood in several rooms.

Pinto and Lima are under arrest accused of double homicide and concealment of corpses.

Daily Mirror 

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