Canada: Suspect in shocking Ottawa-Montreal body parts case arrested in Berlin
Luka Rocco Magnotta was arrested in Berlin this morning, German police say.
The 29-year-old Canadian wanted for a horrific Montreal murder was arrested in an Internet cafe, according to the Bild newspaper.
The report comes just as French authorities said they were investigating the theory that Magnotta travelled from Paris to Berlin via bus.
German police spokesperson Stefan Rieldich told CP24 that a person recognized Magnotta and called police Monday.
Rieldich said Magnotta has been taken into custody and may go in front of a judge tomorrow.
Canadian officials are expected to travel to Berlin to take Magnotta into their custody in the near future.
Earlier, an employee from bus company Eurolines told AFP that police had visited a station in the Parisian suburb of Bagnolet, where investigators believe Magnotta was staying late last week.
Magnotta, whom overseas media have begun referring to as “Canadian Psycho,” has been at the centre of an international manhunt for the murder and dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal last month.
French police said the 29-year-old, originally from Ontario, was seen as recently as Friday. French reports said police found pornographic magazines and air sickness bags from the airplane he took from Montreal to Paris in his hotel room.
Another published report in France quoted a bar manager saying Magnotta spent two nights in his bar, looking “very nervous” and left one night with a man with an “impressive physique.”
Police believe Magnotta escaped to France on May 26.
Interpol has issued an alert for Magnotta, who was born Eric Clinton Newman and has also gone by the name Vladimir Romanov, along with countless Internet usernames.
On Sunday, Interpol posted pictures of Magnotta going through airport security. In the two photos, the slight man has dark hair and is wearing a black Mickey Mouse T-shirt. The airport was not identified in the photos.
Jun Lin, 33, a student at Montreal’s Concordia university was slain on the night of May 24. His torso was found in Montreal and some of his body parts were mailed to political party offices in Ottawa.
A video of the murder, which police believe to be authentic, which posted shortly thereafter.
Magnotta, who claimed to be a male model and gay porn star despite little evidence he did either professionally, has a long digital trail of attempts to become Internet famous.
He claimed to be bullied by people who started a rumour he dated the infamous Karla Homolka, which led to some mainstream media attention in 2007, although it appears he may have been behind the rumours himself.
Animal activists have also pegged Magnotta to be behind a kitten torturing video.
Since his link to the disturbing murder in Montreal, a portrait of a troubled young man has been drawn from many sources, including his own family.
One anonymous relative — who had known Magnotta from childhood — told a reporter with the local Peterborough Examiner that Magnotta was “a ticking time bomb.”
“He’s a nut job. I did not trust him,” she told the newspaper. “Eric is the type of individual, I think he’s mentally ill. He has delusions of grandeur. He concocts stories that he tends to believe and they in turn become fact in his mind.”
In his mid-20s, he was charged with fraud and sexual assault, although that charge was dropped. He plead guilty to fraud and received a nine-month conditional sentence.