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Canadian police think body-parts suspect is overseas

- Associated Press - Thursday, May 31, 2012

OTTAWA (AP) — A porn actor wanted in a case in which body parts from a dismembered corpse were mailed to places including the Conservative Party headquarters might have fled North America, Canadian police said Thursday.

Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said police believe Luka Rocco Magnotta fled, based on evidence they found at his apartment and based on a blog Mr. Magnotta once wrote about how to disappear.

The 29-year-old Mr. Magnotta has been added to Interpol's list of wanted persons.

"We believe he may be in a foreign country," Cmdr. Lafreniere told the Associated Press. "He left a letter on a website mentioning how to disappear for good, and secondly our investigation brought us some details that might let us think that he could be away from the country."

Cmdr. Lafreniere said police have an idea where he might have fled, but he declined to say where.

Cmdr. Lafreniere also said police have been trying to take down an online video that they believe shows Mr. Magnotta committing the murder. The video shows a man stabbing another man with an ice pick while the victim lies naked and tied up. The first man later reveals he has slashed the other man's throat. He also dismembers the corpse and performs sexual acts with it.

Cmdr. Lafreniere said authorities were able to take down the video Tuesday night but that it keeps reappearing online.

"It's horrible. I can't believe people take advantage of watching this," he said.

The case began Tuesday when police found a man's torso in a suitcase behind Mr. Magnotta's apartment and a severed foot was found in a package mailed to the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa. A hand was found in a separate package at a postal facility, addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Other body parts remain missing, and Cmdr. Lafreniere said police are investigating the possibility that other body parts might have been mailed. It wasn't clear why the body parts were mailed to party offices.

Police said Mr. Magnotta is also known by the names Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov. They described him as white and 5 feet 8 inches tall with blue eyes and black hair. A police official said he was a porn actor.

His Internet presence indicates he is a bisexual porn actor and model.

Mr. Magnotta, from Peterborough, Ontario, was renting an apartment in a working-class Montreal neighborhood. Police in masks combed through the blood-streaked apartment Wednesday.

Mike Gauthier, who has lived in the building for three years, said Mr. Magnotta's apartment was emptied before he apparently vanished in recent days. There were no clothes and no books inside, he said.

Few tenants said they knew Mr. Magnotta, who had lived in the building only for about four months. They described him as a feminine man who was quiet and aloof but pleasant at times.

An online video shows a man who looks like Mr. Magnotta committing violent acts against kittens. The video contains at least one photo made available by Montreal police Wednesday that identified the man as Mr. Magnotta. For nearly two years, Mr. Magnotta's name has been notorious among animal-rights activists looking for a man who tortured and killed cats and posted videos of it online.

Police discovered the severed foot Tuesday after Jenni Bryne, a top political adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, opened a bloodstained box at Conservative Party headquarters.

When Ms. Bryne opened the box, a foul odor overcame the office.

"It was such a horrible odor. I'm sure many of us will not forget it," Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey said.

Police said the package was addressed to the Conservative Party of Canada and not to a specific person.

Rob Gillies reported from Toronto.

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