(CNN)Russian authorities have detained a man suspected of killing dozens of elderly women in several regions across Central Russia nearly a decade ago.
Dubbed by some media outlets as the "Povolzhsky strangler" or the "Volga maniac," the perpetrator has been linked to murders of dozens of women. Most of the women were strangled to death in 2011-2012 and their apartments were subsequently robbed, Russian authorities and state media previously reported.
Russia's Investigative Committee linked the suspect to 26 murders and identified him as a 38-year-old mechanic from Kazan, who previously served time for theft, according to a statement published Tuesday.
The perpetrator posed as a social services representative or maintenance worker to gain the trust of his victims, retired women aged between 75 and 90 who lived alone, according to the Russian Interior Ministry, RIA Novosti reported.
The suspect confessed following his detention and said he attacked his first victim because he was hungry and "lived on the street," according to a video published by the Interior Ministry on Tuesday.
"[I've picked the victims] accidentally, I watched them near the markets, near the shops, [they would come out] with bags and I'd walk them home," the suspect said in the video.
"Sometimes they invited me in, sometimes I talked them into it... then I strangled them from the back and held until they fall asleep."