Cult cannibals charged with murder of three

Brasilia, Brazil - Three Brazilians have been charged with murdering three women and eating their flesh as part of a cult in which they sought to purify their souls and control population growth, police said.

Authorities brought the charges against the three -- a married couple and a woman -- accusing them of murdering three women between the ages of 17 and 31 between 2008 and 2012 in the northeast Pernambuco state.

"The accused admitted to consuming the flesh of their victims," police spokesman Paulo Berenguer told reporters, adding that investigators were looking into whether they were involved in the deaths of four other people.

He added that the three suspects -- who each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail -- claimed to be part of a cult called "El Cartel" and said they had killed in order to rein in population growth.

"Their modus operandi was to select victims with impure lives and approach them with offers of employment before killing them," Berenguer said.

Police identified the accused as Jorge da Silveira and Isabel Pires, a married couple in their early 50s, and 25-year-old Bruna da Silva.

The three were arrested in April when police found a 50-page manuscript entitled "Revelations of a Schizophrenic," written by da Silveira, which described acts of cannibalism with drawings and explanations.