The 37-year old Araújo hosted the call-in talk show "José Carlos Entrevista" (José Carlos Interviewing) at Rádio Timbaúba FM. Citing police sources, the Recife-based daily Diário de Pernambuco said that Araújo had made several enemies in Timbaúba after denouncing the existence of death squads run by criminal gangs and the involvement of well-known local figures in murders in the region.According to the Recife daily Folha de Pernambuco, on April 28, police captured Elton Jonas Gonçalves de Oliveira, one of the suspected assassins, who confessed to killing Araújo because the journalist had accused him on the air of being a criminal. Folha de Pernambuco quoted Timbaúba's police chief as saying that Gonçalves claimed that he did not commit all the crimes the journalist accused him of and resented Araújo for giving him a bad reputation.
In October 2003, prosecutors accused Arivan and her husband, federal judge José María de Oliveira Lucena, of hiring the two hit men who gunned down Linhares. In May 2004, at the request of federal prosecutors, a judge from the Brasília-based Superior Tribunal of Justice, the nation's second highest court, indicted the couple. Lucena was formally charged on March 20, 2008, by the Superior Tribunal of Justice, which has the power to try judges, according to local news reports. Arivan asked to be tried with her husband, but in December 2008, the tribunal ruled that she should be tried before a trial court, said local news reports. No trial dates were immediately set.