Brazilian police investigating if slain NYC art dealer’s husband knew suspect

Brazilian police are investigating whether the estranged husband of Manhattan art dealer Brent Sikkema was acquainted with the Cuban suspect arrested this week in Sikkema's brutal murder in Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazilian news reports. announced that it was doing so.

Ms Sikkema, 75, whose Chelsea gallery Sikkema Jenkins & Co. represents famous artists including Vic Muniz and Carla Walker, suffered multiple injuries to her throat and face on Monday at the home she owned in the seaside town. He was found dead from stab wounds. .

On Thursday, Cuban national Alejandro Triana Pleves was arrested on suspicion of murder. Police say they have seized jewelry and more than $36,000 in cash after the arrest of a fugitive who was stopped by officers near a highway in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

The newspaper reported on Saturday that police wanted to interview Sikkema's estranged husband, who is also of Cuban descent. Rio police reported that the couple announced they were going through an “acrimonious” divorce and custody battle over their 12-year-old son. Oh Globoa daily newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio Police Spokesman Alexandre Hadi said at a press conference on Friday: “Since the suspect in custody has been identified as a Cuban citizen, a new stage of the investigation will be launched to verify whether the ex-husband had any relations with the suspect. will begin,” he said.

Brent Sikkema, who represents notable artists including Vic Muniz and Carla Walker, was found dead in his Rio home on Monday. Paul Brunoge/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images

Triana, 30, landed in Brazil from Cuba as a refugee in 2022, according to a post on her Facebook page. According to O Globo newspaper, police announced that they had discovered a 92-page book titled “Gray Reflections on Love” that Triana published in the same year. Reports say the book is a diary of sorts and includes suggestions for making the most of her life.

Police said surveillance camera footage showed the suspect had been out of Sikkema's home in the Jardim Botanico neighborhood for almost 14 hours straight last week before her body was discovered.

The footage shows Triana sitting in her car outside Sikkema's residence from 2:20 p.m. last Saturday until nearly 3:57 a.m. Sunday. Police said they believe he entered the premises shortly after and left 14 minutes later.

Brent Sikkema's home in Rio
Police said Alejandro Triana Preves held Brent Sikkema captive in his Rio de Janeiro home for almost 14 hours last week. AP

“There is no question that this was a premeditated crime,” Hardy said. “What we don't know is what the motive was for the crime, whether it was a robbery or something else. What we do know is that the suspect had an air conditioner in his bedroom to avoid arousing suspicion. He also left an expensive cell phone near the body, which we don't know about.''

Sikkema, who traveled from New York to Rio three times a year, was discovered on Monday by a Brazilian lawyer who had a key to his home.



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news