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Police link Vancouver body parts to Montreal dismemberment suspect

By Moni Basu, CNN
June 7, 2012 -- Updated 0205 GMT (1005 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A severed hand and foot sent to Vancouver schools belonged to Montreal victim, police say
  • Luka Rocco Magnotta, arrested Monday in Berlin, is believed to have mailed the body parts
  • Magnotta's arrest ended a massive international manhunt
  • Police accuse him of killing and dismembering university student Jun Lin

(CNN) -- A severed human hand and foot sent to two Vancouver schools are linked to a grisly killing and dismemberment in Montreal, police said Wednesday.

Montreal police have taken over the investigation of the Vancouver incident because they believe the suspect in the case, porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, sent the body parts via Canada Post from Montreal.

"Right now, we got no reason to believe there could be someone else involved in this horrible crime," said Montreal police Commander Ian Lafreniere.

Investigators believe Magnotta killed Concordia University student Jun Lin, 33, on May 24 or May 25, posted a 10-minute video of the murder and dismemberment, then took a flight to Paris on May 26.

Authorities launched a massive manhunt that ended Monday when Berlin police nabbed Magnotta at an Internet cafe.

Magnotta will not fight extradition to Canada to face first-degree murder charges, Berlin police said.

Police said Magnotta mailed Lin's left hand and foot to the headquarters of Canada's two main political parties in Ottawa. DNA tests completed Tuesday confirmed the body parts were Lin's.

How the dismemberment suspect was caught

Police believe the right hand and foot found later in Vancouver also belonged to Lin. They are on their way back to Montreal for DNA testing.

More victims in Canada cannibal case?

Lin's torso was found after a resident of Magnotta's apartment building in Montreal called to complain about a foul smell in an alleyway. The torso was stuffed inside a suitcase tossed into a garbage heap. The victim's head is still missing.

'Body parts' suspect caught in cafe

Police also believe Magnotta filmed the death and dismemberment and posted the video to the Internet. Authorities have said the video shows Magnotta engaged in sexual acts involving body parts. Lafreniere said the video also included evidence of cannibalism.

Search for alleged 'body parts' killer

The crime, the grisliest Montreal police have seen in years, has Canadians on edge. Adding to the panic was a 911 caller who reported a severed foot in Montreal less than 24 hours after the gruesome discoveries in Vancouver.

Lafreniere said that the foot was fake, made of plastic or rubber, and that it was someone's idea of a bad joke.

"It put everyone under stress thinking there could be body parts everywhere," he said.

The discovery of Lin's body parts set off a massive manhunt for Magnotta who, before that, had left a disturbing trail in cyberspace.

Police plan to look into accusations by online animal rights activists who say Magnotta killed kittens by suffocation or drowning and videotaped himself in the act.

He also said investigators would check out rumored links between Magnotta and notorious killer Karla Homolka.

Ontario police arrested Homolka and her husband in 1993 in the rapes and murders of three Ontario girls, including her own sister. As part of a plea bargain, Homolka served 12 years in prison and was released a few years ago.

However, Lafreniere said investigators have no evidence linking Magnotta to other crimes.

Montreal police are also investigating a website that hosted Magnotta's chilling 10-minute video of Lin's murder. The site could face criminal charges for publishing obscene material.

However, the hand and foot discoveries in Vancouver take precedence in the police investigation, Lafreniere said Wednesday.

He asked reporters again to be aware of how difficult this has been for Lin's family.

"We have been working extremely hard to find all the body parts with respect to the family," he said.

Lin's parents hailed from a village in China and did not have much money, Lafreniere said. They plan to travel to Montreal, and some Montrealeans have volunteered to help them with costs.

"I am proud of that," Lafreniere said.

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