SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — A district mayor in Paris says the man at the centre of a global manhunt, dubbed the "Butcher of Montreal" by French media, was caught on surveillance video in the city's 17th district over the weekend.
Brigitte Kuster, mayor of the district, told CBC Montreal that Luka Rocca Magnotta was spotted by a number of people on a terrace at a local café and at a hotel.
"He was captured by surveillance cameras at the café," she said. "But at the hotel, he wasn't visible because he was wearing a hat."
The Montreal man is wanted in connection with the murder and dismemberment of 33-year-old Chinese student Jun Lin.
Parts of Lin's remains were discovered last week after they were sent to the federal Liberal and Conservative parties in Ottawa. His torso was also found stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in a trash pile behind the suspect's apartment.
Montreal police believe Lin was killed sometime in the evening of May 24 or early May 25. A video that apparently captured some of the act was posted to an online gore site on May 25.
Montreal police said Magnotta left the city on an international flight on May 26.
According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, Magnotta arrived in France at Paris's Roissy airport the same day.
Interpol issued a notice about Magnotta to 190 countries on Thursday.
Montreal police are calling it one of the largest manhunts in their history.
They also confirmed that French authorities contacted them to report a sighting of Magnotta on June 1.
Kuster said the suspect's possible presence in the area was an "obvious concern," for residents.
"It's very shocking when we're talking about someone who fled Canada and who arrives in your area, as close as your own street," she said.
Kuster said she's been told Magnotta has left the district and may be in the Paris suburbs.
Police have received hundreds of calls on the subject, she said.
"It's terrifying to think that person is, for now, free. Obviously there's anxiety, be it in Paris or elsewhere," she said.
According to Agence France-Presse, French police say they have found items they believe belong to Magnotta in a hotel in Bagnolet, just outside of Paris.
The police went to the hotel after being alerted by witnesses. The suspect wasn't there, but investigators found what they believe were personal items in his room including air sickness bags from the airline he used to travel from Montreal to Paris, according to AFP.
Photos of suspect released
Pictures posted on Interpol's wanted-person site on Sunday show a man with dark hair and a T-shirt passing through airport security amid a number of photos of Magnotta. The man is circled in red and the airport isn't identified.
Interpol would not comment on the photos or indicate when the airport image was captured.
According to Le Figaro, a hotel owner in Paris's 17th district area said that someone spotted Magnotta in his café last Thursday.
French media are reporting that investigators came to the bar and gathered evidence, including the bottle for a Coca-Cola the man had consumed.
The person suspected of being Magnotta is said to have left the café with another man.
French police are reportedly reviewing CCTV footage of the area.
A French state prosecutor said police are investigating another eyewitness account that placed Magnotta in Paris.
An official in the Paris prosecutor's office, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office policy, said Sunday that police were looking into the alleged sightings but had no additional details.— www.shafaqna.com