June 6, 2012 / 4:53 PM / 5 years ago

Police link Vancouver body parts to Montreal murder

(Reuters) - Canadian police said on Wednesday a severed hand and foot found in Vancouver are likely linked to the videotaped murder, dismemberment and cannibalism that led to the arrest of a suspect in Germany this week.

Packages containing the body parts were delivered by mail to two schools in the Pacific port city on Tuesday.

“We have all the reasons to believe it’s linked to our investigation,” Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafreniere told reporters in response to a question about whether the hand and foot belonged to Montreal murder victim Jun Lin, 32.

“(They are) the same body parts that we were looking for ... (They were) shipped from Montreal.”

But he said it would take DNA tests to be “100 percent sure” of that.

Five body parts - two hands, two feet and a torso - have been found in three Canadian cities over the past week in the gruesome case that includes a sordid online video that depicts the crime.

The head is still missing.

Canadian Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, faces charges of first-degree murder, indignities to a body, publishing and mailing obscene matter, and harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He is in custody in Berlin and has said he won’t fight extradition to Canada.

He could be returned to Canada in “a matter of weeks,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters.

Police have said the torso, found in an alleyway near Magnotta’s Montreal apartment, and one hand and foot mailed to political parties in Ottawa on May 29, are linked to the killing of Lin, a Chinese student at Montreal’s Concordia University.

But the two parcels sent to Vancouver arrived only on Tuesday and there has been no formal identification yet.

Police said on Tuesday that the online video showed a man stabbing his victim repeatedly and then cutting off the arms, legs and head before eating part of the body.

“I encourage nobody to watch this video. It is a video that was extremely sordid,” Montreal organized crime squad chief Denis Mainville told reporters.

Magnotta, 29, has an extensive Internet trail as a gay escort, a bisexual porn star and alleged kitten killer. He was arrested in a Berlin Internet cafe on Monday after an international manhunt.

He had been reading articles online about the hunt for the killer.

In another twist in a bizarre tale, Montreal police initially reported that a third severed foot had been found, in a busy Montreal street.

They quickly withdrew that statement, and said the foot was a fake.

Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Jim Loney

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