A toddler who suffered from a rare disease has died following allegations that his father spent all the money raised for him on partying at hotels with prostitutes.
João Miguel Alves suffered from spinal muscular atrophy but lost his fight for life on October 17. His dad Mateus Henrique Leroy Alves, 37, was found in a luxury hotel where he had been staying for two months after his wife Karine Rodrigues reported him to police.
He is alleged to have spent the cash on prostitutes, designer clothes, watches, drugs, sex workers and alcohol. Mateus and Karine had started a fundraising campaign for João as they faced £70,000 bills for each dose of the drug Spinraza which prevented the boy’s disease advancing.
The government of Brazil had agreed to pay for João’s first three treatments and he got his first dose of the drug in August.
Within a year they raised almost £200,000 after their hometown of Conselheiro Lafaiete, southeastern Brazil, held a marathon.
But by May this year Mateus had planned to ditch his wife and son, telling Karine that he was going off to train as a security guard.
The couple kept money for João in four bank accounts and Mateus had access to two of them. However, his wife became suspicious after seeing large withdrawals and bank transfers, but Mateus has now told police who arrested him at a beachfront hotel that he was a victim of extortion. The investigation continues.