The whereabouts of a man accused in the grisly killing of a Chinese university student in Montreal whose body was dismembered remains a mystery, as new details about his alleged victim emerge.
Luka Rocco Magnotta is the subject of an international manhunt after pieces of a body were mailed to political offices in Ottawa last week and found in the garbage behind his Montreal apartment building.
Blood stains were also found in an apartment linked to Magnotta, Montreal police said.
Police identified 33-year-old Concordia University student Lin Jun as the victim killed in a gruesome film that began circulating the Internet days ago.
It was also Lin’s torso with missing limbs discovered Tuesday after he was reported missing by a friend, authorities said.
Police also believe it was Lin’s hand and foot that were mailed to federal political party offices, with one package containing a human foot reaching the Conservative Party’s headquarters.
Lin may have been killed on May 24 or 25, police said.
Lin and Magnotta were acquainted, police confirmed, but further details about the nature of their relationship are unclear.
Montreal police have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for the 29-year-old Magnotta. He’s also been added to Interpol’s wanted persons list.
Police confirmed he left the country May 26 for Europe, but didn’t comment on reports that Magnotta had fled to France.
French authorities said they believe Magnotta is in the country and are actively searching for him.
The search to date has involved several rumours, including one that he was arrested in Monaco that was quickly put to rest.
Police have received more than 200 tips about the case, and Magnotta’s photo and description is being circulated around the world via Interpol.
Magnotta is wanted for first-degree murder, criminal harassment against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of Parliament, defiling a corpse and using the mail system for delivering “obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous” material.
More details about Lin
Meanwhile, Lin was described by his convenience store boss in Montreal as a model worker who was never late or missed a shift.
Kankan Huang told The Canadian Press that’s why he knew something was wrong when the part-time clerk — his only employee – didn’t show up for work a week ago Friday.
“I’m just shocked and I don’t know if it is true, but I hope it’s not,” Huang said Friday while standing in a cramped aisle inside the store.
Huang said he knew little about Lin because they only had brief chats when changing shifts at the store. Lin worked about 10 hours a week after being hired last August.
Huang handed over security tapes at the store to police.
Lin was an undergraduate student in the faculty of engineering and computer science at Concordia University in Montreal.
He’s from Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. He has no relatives in Montreal, but his family has been notified by Chinese consular officials, police said.
Concordia president Frederick Lowy expressed condolences to Lin’s friends and family on behalf of the university Friday.
“We are saddened to learn of this loss of life and it has affected our community, especially those who knew him,” he said in a statement.
Video may be reposted
The video police believe was footage of Lin’s murder and dismemberment was removed from the website where it was originally posted, but the man who owns the web domain said he may put it back up.
“My server has been under such heavy load, I had to temporarily disable streaming of this video,” Mark Marek wrote in an email to CTV Edmonton.
“I can’t predict what will go down in the future, though. Am I gonna open it for viewing or should I keep it off?” Marek wrote.
Case makes world headlines
The case has made headlines worldwide as lurid details emerge about Magnotta’s past as a porn actor, not to mention the bizarre Internet footprint he left behind, including links to videos that featured the torture killings of kittens.
Magnotta has also been linked to white supremacist websites where it’s believed he posted racist musings about the creation of all-white countries.
One online group has been searching for Magnotta since 2010, when a YouTube video of a young man killing two kittens first appeared online that depicted the animals being put in an airtight bag and a vacuum used to suck out the air.
Magnotta, who appears to have travelled extensively, was apparently tracked down by a British tabloid in a pub near Wembley Stadium last year to confront him about the video.
“He was without doubt one of the most disturbed and disturbing individuals I have ever encountered,” The Sun’s Alex West wrote on Friday about his encounter six months ago.
Old photos have also surfaced showing Magnotta posing in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, New York’s Penn Station, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square and beside Marilyn Monroe’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Foreign Affairs offers condolences
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird reached out to China’s envoy to Canada on Friday, sending condolences for the “senseless killing of Chinese student Jun Lin.”
Officials said Baird promised to keep the Chinese up to date with developments in the international search for the suspect in the vicious killing.
Meanwhile, a gay porn website based in Florida has sought to distance itself from work Magnotta did there in 2005.
Lisa Turner of Badpuppy Enterprises released a statement saying the company learned of a “very creepy connection” with the suspected killer.
On Friday, Turner told The Canadian Press that Magnotta appeared in one video and photo shoot for Badpuppy in November 2005.
“Badpuppy has had no contact or connection of any kind with the model, since the November 2005 shoot was completed,” she wrote in an email.
On Thursday, a video emerged of Magnotta auditioning for a gay-themed reality television show on OutTV five years ago.
In the video of Magnotta’s audition for Cover Guy, obtained by CTV, Magnotta appears at times confident, at times nervous and unsure of himself.
The show, which is no longer on the air, ran on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender specialty television channel OutTV. Producers were seeking the ultimate male underwear model and, in 2007, Magnotta thought he had what it took.
“A lot of people tell me I’m really devastatingly good looking,” Magnotta tells a panel of show judges as he unbuttons his black shirt, takes it off, and slings it over his shoulder.
Magnotta stands naked from the waist up as he answers questions from the judges, talking to them about how he used to be overweight, until he took up running every morning.