German authorities on November 19 arrested a 41-year-old man for allegedly being the mastermind for the murder of a 44-year-old man who went missing in September.
The suspect, who is a math and chemistry teacher, lived near the site where the victim’s bones were found early in November.
Authorities used sniffer dogs to trace the location of the possible suspect after a DNA test confirmed that the remains found on a field in Berlin belong to the victim, who was a resident of Lichtenberg district.
Authorities viewed the case as murder with sexual intentions, although the possible case of cannibalism was also being considered due to evidence gathered in the suspect’s house.
German police found knives, a bone cutter saw, an oversized cooling box, and 25 kilograms of sodium hydroxide, which can be used to dissolve body tissues, in the suspect’s house.
The suspect’s browsing history was also checked by investigators, and he was found to have surfed the internet to search for cannibalism.
“The suspect had an interest in cannibalism. He searched online for the topic,” Martin Steltner, spokesman of Berlin prosecutor’s office, was quoted as saying.
Forensic experts also saw bite marks on the bones of the victim, although it was unclear whether it was from a person or from an animal.
According to reports, the victim met the suspect on an online dating platform named Planet Romeo. The victim, who worked as a technician, was reportedly last seen on September 5, while police began the investigation by October.
His remains were found by passersby on a field in Berlin, near the border with Brandenburg.
Authorities kept the identities of both parties anonymous.
This was not the first time that cannibalism was viewed as a possible intent of murder in Germany.
In 2015, a German police officer killed a man he met on an online site promoting cannibalism. However, investigations revealed that there was a lack of evidence about cannibalism.
Meanwhile, in 2006, Armin Meiwes was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing and eating a man he had met online. It was dubbed as the “Rotenburg cannibal.”
Meiwes even shared to his prosecutors the details of how obsessed he was with his victim.
Photo by Francois Cante/Flickr