A BRITISH adventurer who had been on a solo kayaking trip through the Amazon was shot dead by pirates, police have confirmed.
Emma Kelty, 43, had been 42 days into her 4,000-mile trip along the Amazon River when she was robbed and fatally shot, with the pirates then throwing her body into the river.
Police said her attackers had tried to sell the items they stole from her — including two mobile phones, a tablet and GoPro camera — at a market in Lauro Sodré.
It comes after the former Brit head teacher posted a series of haunting Facebook messages saying she feared she would be “killed” before she vanished.
She disappeared barely 24 hours after she revealed she had been confronted by 50 men with “arrows and rifles” in the Brazilian rainforest.
Her grieving family has since released a statement paying tribute to the adventurer, with her brothers Piers and Giles and her sister Natasha saying: "Emma was an active and determined sister who challenged herself, latterly through her adventures on the Pacific Coast Trail, as well as in the South Pole and Amazon River.
"In a world that is today a much smaller place, the explorer in our sister found herself seeking ways to prove that challenges were achievable."
They added: "We are extremely proud of our sister who was dearly loved by us all and her strength will be sorely missed."
Emma's last known location was around 150 miles west of the jungle city of Manaus, between the towns of Coari and Codajas.
But despite her writing two days later that she was “in the clear”, she was in fact going through an area notorious for its pirate attacks and drug traffickers.
While Emma has not been found, her belongings were found on the shore with her orange kayak, with local police saying criminals had been trying to sell off some of the items.
Local police chief Ivo Martines said the woman had been near a trafficking route, but it was not necessarily linked.
Before setting off on the river trek, Emma wrote on her website of her fears of “notorious drug barons” and “organ harvesting folks” along the route.
The former headmistress and experienced explorer was travelling solo as part of an epic journey from the source to the mouth of the Amazon river.
Daredevil Emma, who in January became the sixth woman in history to ski solo to the South Pole, was well aware of the dangers.
She went missing on the Solimoes River near the town of Coari, 220 miles west of Manaus on September 13, after activating an emergency alarm.
It enabled rescue teams to pinpoint her last known position using global positioning data but teams drafted into the search found she had gone.
Brazilian police officer Thyago Garcez disappeared in December near the same spot after a shootout with Colombian drug traffickers. His body has never been found.
And last month, another gunfight ensued close by between traffickers transporting drugs from Peru and pirates trying to steal their cargo.
Emma believed she passed through the danger zone unscathed.
Olie Hunter Smart, an explorer who completed a similar route in 2015, said Coari was known to be a dangerous area.
He had met Ms Kelty before her trip to help her plan the journey. Mr Smart, who is currently walking the length of India, said: "The Emma that I met was an incredibly brave and courageous person who lived life to the full.
"My thoughts go out to her close friends and family at this very sad time."
A Foreign office spokesman said on Tuesday: "We are supporting the family of a British woman following her death in Brazil and are in contact with the Brazilian authorities."
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