Authorities around the world are on the alert for a Canadian actor suspected of filming the dismemberment of a Chinese student and posting his body parts in the mail.
Police said on Friday that the suspect, Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, fled to Europe on May 26 after the alleged murder.
The victim, identified as Lin Jun, had been “in a relationship” with the suspect, according to Montreal police commander Ian Lafreniere.
A senior French police official said he is sure Magnotta is in France and that he has been there in the past. Another French police official said Magnotta apparently flew to Paris from Montreal last weekend, before the case emerged.
Montreal police have said they believe Magnotta, 29, fled for France based on evidence they found at his apartment and a blog he once wrote about how to disappear.
Interpol on Thursday issued a Red Notice wanted-persons alert for Magnotta, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, to its 190-member countries after a video of the grisly killing surfaced online.
Lin, 32, was studying at Montreal’s Concordia University after arriving in the French-speaking province of Quebec in July. He was last seen on May 24 and was reported missing five days later.
A spokesman for the university said Lin was registered as an undergraduate in the department of engineering and computer science.
The Chinese Consulate in Montreal said in a statement on its website that the assassin had committed a “terrible and odious crime employing exceptionally cruel methods” and said it hoped the culprit would be promptly caught and tried.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said on Twitter that he spoke to China’s ambassador to convey his “deep condolences on the senseless killing of Chinese student Jun Lin”.
A global manhunt was launched for Magnotta after a human foot was sent to the headquarters of Canada’s ruling Conservative Party on Tuesday. A hand was later found in the mail at an Ottawa post office, and a torso was discovered in a suitcase in a pile of garbage in Montreal.
Lafreniere said he wears wigs and sometimes disguises himself as a woman.
Several websites claim that Magnotta once lived in Los Angeles with US adult film industry actor Timothy Boham, who was convicted in 2009 of the 2006 murder of a Colorado businessman.
The suspect has been dubbed “Canadian Psycho” because a video circulating online and believed to be linked to him shows a man stabbing another man with an ice pick and dismembering him while a song from the film “American Psycho” plays in the background.
“We have quite convincing proof of the crime he committed,” said Lafreniere, referring to the video that police have been trying to get removed from the internet.
“It’s not a movie. It’s not something that was made up. It’s a real human getting decapitated in front of the camera.”