THIS is the off-grid commune run by a Brit that went from a peaceful forest retreat to the backdrop of a suspected suicide game.
It comes after a man was reportedly killed during an argument while a group of friends were playing the “Sick Blue Whale” suicide challenge in a remote forest area in central Portugal.
Xavier Hancock owns the self-named Libelinha Venture in Figueiró Dos Vinhos.
The public school-educated businessman is believed to have unknowingly hosted the group of British visitors, which included both the suspect and the stabbed 35-year-old.
According to reports, the alleged killing occurred in the early hours of Sunday in a forested area near Xavier’s land.
The exact location of the alleged crime has not yet been confirmed.
There is no evidence that Xavier or his partner were in any way involved in the crime, but the owner of the forest home assured that he was cooperating “fully” with the police.
“As this is an active investigation, I will only answer questions from authorities with whom we are fully cooperating,” Xavier reportedly told local media.
“Once the official evidence is released, I would consider sharing the story.”
Educated at a public school in Oxford, nature lover Xavier looks after his land with the help of volunteers from Britain, who he sets up in tipis and Sioux Indian-style tents.
The Brit, who describes himself as a digital creator on social media, has spoken of “falling in love” with the forest valley near the picturesque village of Figueró dos Vinhos, where he and his partner founded their off-grid community.
Xavier has organized online fundraising events to plant over 6,000 trees, shrubs and bushes on his land and then keep them alive during a drought in the area.
Volunteers who want to take part in the family-run land regeneration and reforestation project will be offered on-site “glamping” accommodation and meals.
An article on an online site that offers opportunities for volunteers to get involved is believed to have said Xavier and his partner: “We are trying to do something that is becoming increasingly rare these days.”
“The unique opportunity to unwind and enjoy life at the same time, simply living in the middle of nature in a remote, enchanting forest valley.
“We are looking for volunteers to join us for a month or more, who bring good energy to the country and community, who enjoy giving and are willing to participate in a variety of projects to help realize the vision. “
The article adds that accommodation would be in a shared teepee or tent for those who prefer more privacy.
“Living in a forest means we are completely off the grid. This offers us a rare opportunity to disconnect from the usual connections of modern life and give us the time to enjoy the natural environment and the people around us.”
The so-called Blue Whale Challenge is associated with numerous deaths worldwide.
It encourages teenagers to take part in a series of 50 tasks that include harming themselves and ultimately taking their own lives.
FOR KIDS: How to say no
It can sometimes be hard to stand up to your friends, so Childline offers the following tips on how to say no:
1) Say it with confidence:
Be decisive. It is your choice and you do not have to do anything that makes you feel insecure or uncomfortable.
2) Try not to judge them:
By respecting their decisions, they should respect your decisions.
3) Spend time with friends who can say “no”:
It takes confidence and courage to say no to your friends. Spend time with other friends who are also not participating.
4) Suggest something else:
If you don’t feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, suggest something else.
Any child who is afraid of peer pressure or online concerns can contact us Children’s line on 0800 1111.
Portuguese police continued their investigation on Tuesday after a Briton was arrested on Monday.
The suspect was an organizer of a weekend festival and was afraid to pay for the land he rented because ticket sales were poor due to bad weather leading up to the event. Correio da Manhã reported.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether the celebration took place on the couple’s property.
However, police sources said after the unnamed Brit’s body was found, he and the suspect were at a party in Libelinha Venture before moving to a wooded area outside the township.
It is not known whether the party at Libelinha Venture and the festival organized by the suspect were the same event.
Police confirmed on Monday that they had initially been told the Brit’s death was linked to an argument that began when he and his friends were playing the Blue Whale suicide challenge.
But sources close to the investigation later insisted they had found no evidence linking the blue whale to the death.
The Portuguese daily also claimed on Tuesday that the suspect only mentioned the game “after confessing to the crime” to “explain the situation that led to the macabre death.”
The alarm was raised at around 6.30am on Sunday and the inmate reportedly admitted to stabbing his alleged victim before taking police to the remote woodland spot where his body lay.
Investigators believe that the knife used was found next to the body and left in a small clearing in the forest near Figueiró dos Vinhos.
Footage published by Correio da Manhã shows police lifting the dead man’s body on a stretcher after covering it with a sheet and placing it in the back of a nearby van.
A waiting Red Cross ambulance took it to Coimbra after officials reached the nearest paved road.
A post-mortem is believed to have taken place yesterday in the university town of Coimbra, but the results have not been released.
The Policia Judiciaria in Coimbra is also in charge of the ongoing investigation and has not yet made an official statement.
“The alleged perpetrator of the crime has been arrested. “The circumstances, including the possible motive, remain under investigation,” said a well-informed police source.
“Both the prisoner and the man arrested on suspicion of killing him are British.”
Another police insider said: “A group of about half a dozen people, including the suspect and the dead man, were staying at a campsite near where the victim’s body was found.
“Apparently they had attended a party there that evening before making their way to the woods where the stabbing took place.”
It is understood the group had planned to fly back to the UK in around a week.
No official information has yet been released about when the suspect will appear in court.
The hearing will be held behind closed doors and a judge must decide whether he will be remanded in custody or released on bail pending an ongoing judicial inquiry.
You’re not alone
A life is lost to suicide EVERY 90 minutes in the UK.
It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people from all parts of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors to reality stars and footballers.
It is the leading cause of death in people under 35, deadlier than cancer and car accidents.
And men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
Yet it is rarely talked about, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage if we don’t all stop and take note now.
That’s why The Sun has launched the ‘You’re Not Alone’ campaign.
The aim is that we can all play our part in saving lives by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.
Let us all vow to ask for help when we need it and to listen to others… You are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help dealing with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support:
- QUIET, www.thecalmzone.net0800 585 858
- heads together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Spirit, www.mind.org.uk0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org0800 068 41 41
- Samaritan, www.samaritans.org116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Fear Britain www.anxietyuk.org.uk03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm