The suspect in the brutal murder of Brent Sikkema told Brazilian police that the Manhattan art dealer’s estranged husband ordered the hit and offered him $200,000 to finish the job, according to Brazilian press reports.
Alejandro Triana Prevez, 30, claimed to authorities that Daniel Carrera Sikkema, 53, ordered the January murder of Brent Sikkema, 75. The gallerist, whose Chelsea firm represents artists Vik Muniz and Kara Walker, among others, was found dead in his tony Rio de Janeiro row house on Jan. 15 with 18 stab wounds to his face, chest and throat, according to police.
The statement alleging Carrera’s involvement was first reported Thursday by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, which also reported that Rio’s Public Ministry has demanded Carrera, who lives in Manhattan with the couple’s 14-year-old son, be immediately remanded in custody.
Carrera was born in Cuba and worked as a male prostitute in Havana and Madrid before his marriage to Sikkema 15 years ago, according to a memoir he wrote in the late 1990s about his flight from the Communist island.
The couple had been involved in a protracted divorce battle that began in March 2022 and was ongoing when Sikkema died, court records indicate. Carrera had allegedly demanded $6 million to allow Sikkema to see the couple’s son, according to Rio police.
Shortly after Carrera petitioned for divorce in March 2022, he called police alleging that Sikkema had changed the locks on their Chelsea apartment door after a heated argument. “When the victim questioned the building management, they told him they had orders not to let the victim back into the apartment,” according to a report.
Sikkema surrendered to police on April 14. He was arrested and spent a night in prison, according to a source who did not want to be identified.
“Danny just hounded the police officer, worked on him emotionally to have him arrest Brent,” said the source, who knew the couple. “The whole thing was ridiculous and the district attorney ended up apologizing to Brent.”
According to Triana, a Cuban national who said he had worked for both Carrera and Sikkema in Cuba, Carrera couriered him a key to enter Sikkema’s Rio home, the Brazilian press reported. Rio police released video footage from a nearby property that, they say, shows Triana surveilling Sikkema’s residence in the city’s Botanical Gardens neighborhood for 14 hours before the murder before entering the home.
Rio’s Homicide Bureau told reporters that they had “no doubt” the crime was premeditated. In addition to monitoring the victim, the suspect left the air conditioning on “to attract less attention” in the neighborhood during the attack, they said.
Sikkema’s remains were found by his longtime Rio lawyer a day before he was scheduled to return to Rio de Janeiro.
Days before he was killed, Sikkema closed on another Rio de Janeiro property. The gallerist owned three properties in Cuba and two in Rio, where he spent several weeks a year.
On the Thursday before his death he was shopping for furniture and curtains for his new apartment, and told his driver that he had fallen in love with a new boyfriend, according to a Rio Civil Police report obtained by The Post last week.
“In the passenger seat of the car, Brent spoke on a video chat with a man who spoke halting English,” reads the report, which summarizes the witness statement of Luiz Otavio Martins, Sikkema’s longtime driver in Rio. “The driver could see the young man on the video call. He was dark skinned and very handsome, and Brent told him ‘I love you’ in English.”
During what would be his last conversation with Martins, Brent told his driver that he was going on a date, the report reads, adding that Brent regularly frequented Rio bath houses to pick up young male prostitutes.
“He preferred them young,” the Rio police report quoted the driver as saying.
“The driver told Brent not to bring prostitutes to his apartment because it was too dangerous,” the police report said. “Brent told the driver that he had met a guy before Christmas and was madly in love.”