Chinese couple held over headless torsos in Paris park

18 June 2012
Police investigate in the Vincennes forest after the torsos were found
French policemen at the Bois de Vincennes in Paris on June 18 after a second human torso was discovered in the woods. Police said Monday they were holding for questioning a couple suspected of having killed and dismembered another couple and dumped their headless torsos in the forest on the edge of Paris

French police said Monday they were questioning a Chinese couple who allegedly killed and dismembered another couple and dumped their headless torsos in a forest on the edge of Paris.

The pair were detained at the weekend after turning themselves in to police following the discovery by a guide dog of the torso of a woman in the popular Vincennes forest on Friday, a police source said.

The couple said they "killed a man and a woman", also Chinese, the source said, and based on information from them the man's torso was found on Sunday.

The police source said the detained couple confessed to having killed and dismembered the other couple following a dispute over the dead couple's child, who they said had died earlier this month while in their care.

The couple told police that the child died accidentally and they concealed the death by putting the body in a bin bag, the source said.

They said that they fled to China shortly after the killings but returned to France because they were "overcome with remorse", the source said.

A lawyer advised the couple to hand themselves in to police, which they did.

"The enigma of these human torsos, which could have gone on a long time without this confession, is perhaps being resolved," a source close to the enquiry said, adding: "We're in the realm of the sordid."

Suspicion of a murder was first raised when two joggers discovered a decomposing human leg in the woods on June 7.

The discovery of human remains in the popular park came at the same time as Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian suspected of slaughtering and dismembering a Chinese student, was reported to have fled to Paris.

Forensic police were on Monday combing the area where the body parts were found using dogs and earth-moving machinery.