Gatti's death ruled a suicide by police

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The death of former boxing champion Arturo Gatti was a suicide, police in Brazil have reported.

However, despite the conclusions drawn from the investigation and an autopsy, Gatti's family and close friends refuse to believe he killed himself.

"It's impossible," said close friend Jeremy Filosa. "Those who think he killed himself don't know Arturo."

Filosa added the theory it was an accidental death was more realistic, though not as realistic as Gatti's wife, Amanda Rodrigues, having murdered him.

Rodrigues was initially arrested for the crime and has been in custody since July 12.

A judge ordered the release of the 23-year-old Rodrigues after receiving the police report.

However, Gatti's family still believes she killed him and is demanding another autopsy be performed in Canada.

"The family will do everything to prove that (his wife) was involved in this," said Filosa.

Bernard Barre, one of Gatti's former coaches, also doesn't believe the former champ killed himself.

"I don't believe any of it. He loved life too much. The family must absolutely take this further."

Members of Gatti's family had planned to travel to Brazil to meet new lawyers, though Filosa said Gatti's brother, Fabrizio, said those plans had been delayed.

Gatti was found dead at a hotel in Porto de Galinhas, a seasside resort in northeast Brazil, July 11.

When asked if police had determined the case was a suicide, lead investigator Paulo Alberes said, "Yes."

He offered no other details.

A day after the 37-year-old Gatti was found dead, police said Rodrigues had strangled him with her purse strap as he drunkenly slept.

But police began to back off the accusation about a week later after a coroner's report said Gatti may have killed himself as he was found "suspended and hanged."

"I've said before it would have been impossible for her to suspend and hang a man of that size," said Celio Avelino, Rodrigues' lawyer.


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