Prosecutors believe that the suspect had an “interest in cannibalism” after looking through his internet search history. Officials identified his alleged victim after finding a pile of bones in a wooded area of Berlin.
Berlin investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder and cannibalism, after discovering the bones of a man who disappeared in September.
The man is suspected of carrying out a sexually motivated homicide and had an interest in cannibalism, according to the public prosecutor.
“The suspect had an interest in cannibalism,” Berlin prosecutors’ office spokesman Martin Steltner told The Associated Press. “He searched online for the topic.”
“A 41-year-old suspect was arrested yesterday and will be brought before the magistrate today,” Berlin police tweeted on Thursday, initially saying he was suspected of manslaughter.
Later, Berlin’s prosecutor’s office followed up on this, saying that the suspect was in fact suspected of carrying out a “sexual homicide with base motives.” Proving “base motives” is necessary by German law in order to push for a fully-fledged murder conviction, a law that’s a relic of the Nazi era.
The 44-year-old victim, known as Stefan T., disappeared without a trace after leaving his apartment shortly before midnight in early September, in the Lichtenberg district of Berlin. Police released a photo of the man and asked for assistance in his search.
By October, police were looking for people who could possibly have had contact with Stefan T. through a dating platform.
However, on November 8th, people taking a walk found bones in a wooded area of the city’s Pankow district, which turned out to be the remains of the missing man.
Authorities were led to the 41-year-old suspect after an investigation conducted by the homicide commission and public prosecutors. Investigators also used sniffer dogs in the process.
Steltner said it was unclear whether the victim also had an interest in cannibalism, but the two men, both Germans, had been in touch with each other online.