Brazilian model who appeared on cover of Elle and Grazia is found wandering the streets of Rio slum a year after she vanished from her home in New York

  • Ex-model Eloisa Pinto Fontes, 26, was found ‘disorientated’ in a favela in Brazil 
  • She had disappeared from New York City – where she lived – a year earlier 
  • Local media reported that she was found carrying a rucksack full of modelling contracts and references from international photographers  

A model who once appeared on the covers of Elle, Grazia and Glamor and took part in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign has been found alone and disorientated in a Brazilian slum a year after she went missing while in New York City.

Eloisa Pinto Fontes, 26, from Alagoas state in north-east Brazil, was found in the Morro do Cantagalo favela in Rio de Janeiro, in the south-east of the country on 6 October.

She was found walking through the slum ‘completely disoriented’ by a local neighbourhood watch, after they received a tip-off about an unknown woman who had been seen walking around the favela for two days.

According to local media, Fontes was found carrying a rucksack containing documents of her contracts with international modelling agencies and references from international photographers.

The model had disappeared from New York City a year ago, where she was living and working.

Former model Eloisa Pinto Fontes, 26, was found wandering through a favela in south-east Brazil visibly disorientated on 6 October

Former model Eloisa Pinto Fontes, 26, was found wandering through a favela in south-east Brazil visibly disorientated on 6 October 

Fontes (pictured in New York City) went missing from New York a year ago. She was living and working in the Big Apple as a professional model

Fontes (pictured in New York City) went missing from New York a year ago. She was living and working in the Big Apple as a professional model 

She had also vanished from New York City earlier in 2019 and was found five days later, visibly disorientated, in a street in the city of White Plains, roughly 30 minutes by car from central Manhattan.

Her career, which had also taken her to Europe, dried up shortly after this incident.

Fontes was married from 2014 to 2016 to 38-year-old Russian-Romanian supermodel Andre Birleanu, who once appeared on the TV programme America’s Most Smartest Model, where he became notorious for his aggressive demeanour. 

According to local media, Fontes (pictured during London Fashion week in 2014) was admitted to a psychiatric institute to receive mental health care

According to local media, Fontes (pictured during London Fashion week in 2014) was admitted to a psychiatric institute to receive mental health care

Birleanu has custody of the couple’s seven-year-old daughter. 

The latest information is that the model is receiving care and updates on her condition are being provided to family members.

According to neighbourhood watch representative Antonio Carlos dos Santos, the model was disorientated and was taken to the Philippe Pinel Psychiatric Institute in the Botafogo neighbourhood, where she has been admitted for mental health care.

He said: ‘She was walking through the community completely disorientated. And yesterday we were able to locate her and rescue her.’

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