French police hunt for sighted Canadian murderer
PARIS, June 4 – Police searched across France today for signs of suspected Canadian murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta after numerous reported sightings of the man accused of murdering a student, cutting up his body and posting a video of the crime online.
Police sources declined to confirm media reports that between 8,000 and 10,000 people had called to say they thought they had seen Magnotta, who arrived in France on May 26, but legal sources said various alleged sightings were being investigated.
Newspapers quoted a saleswoman at a shop in Paris’ Gare du Nord station and a barman in the capital’s northwest who believed they had recognised Magnotta. A hotel receptionist who called police to check a suspicious guest.
French radio interviewed a man who claimed Magnotta tried to join a party he was holding at his Paris apartment and reported that he had been hanging around an international bus station.
“Thinking about it now, if it really was him, that’s scary,” Le Parisien quoted Sarah, the station saleswoman, as saying, after she recognised TV images of Magnotta as being the same man who stared at her while seated on a station platform bench.
Interpol issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for Magnotta, 29, who faces first degree murder charges over the videotaped death of 32-year-old Chinese student Jun Lin, whose body parts were mailed to political parties in Ottawa.
Montreal police say Magnotta and Jun were both in the video, which was posted on a Canadian website that specialises in gore.
Magnotta has left a bizarre Internet trail as an alleged kitten-killer and bisexual porn star.
In a crime scene Montreal police say is the worst they have seen, his Montreal apartment included a bloody mattress and pools of blood on the floor and in the refrigerator. The police said a janitor found a torso with no head or limbs in a suitcase in an alley behind the building.
Authorities believe that a decomposing foot mailed to the headquarters of the governing Conservative Party in Ottawa on Tuesday and a hand found inside a package at a postal depot are parts of the same person. – Reuters