VANCOUVER, CANADA (BNO NEWS) — Canadian police are investigating two packages containing human remains which were delivered to two elementary schools in Vancouver on Tuesday afternoon, officials said on Wednesday. Investigators believe they may have been sent by murder suspect Luka Magnotta.
The first package containing a right hand was opened by a staff member at False Creek Elementary School in Vancouver shortly after 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Another package containing a right foot was opened by staff members at St. George’s School about an hour later, after which police were called.
“The schools are currently cordoned off as forensic examination continues at each location,” said Vancouver police Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke. “There is no indication that any students or staff have been targeted at either school. And I just like to say that this must have been a very, very traumatic incident for all involved at the schools that were involved in opening these packages and the Vancouver Police Department will assist in any way we can with our victims’ services section.”
Police on Wednesday morning said authorities in Montreal are taking over the investigation because investigators suspect the packages are linked to the Magnotta case. “The decision to turn the investigation over to the Montreal Police Homicide Unit came late Tuesday after Vancouver Police Homicide investigators noted that the packaging and addresses on the boxes sent to Vancouver was similar to that of the packages discovered earlier this week in eastern Canada,” a Vancouver police spokesperson said in a statement.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who has been dubbed the ‘Canadian Psycho’ by media organizations, was arrested in the German capital of Berlin on Monday afternoon after a nearly week-long global manhunt. He is accused of killing and dismembering 33-year-old Chinese student Lin Jun at his Montreal apartment and mailing one of his feet and hands to political parties in Ottawa.
In a note along with one of the packages delivered in Ottawa, Magnotta warned he had sent a total of six packages containing human remains. Police previously said they did not believe Magnotta had sent other packages besides the ones delivered in Ottawa, but they confirmed one of Lin’s hands, feet and his head were still missing. Lin’s torso was earlier discovered in a suitcase in Montreal.
Also on Wednesday morning, a passerby in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood called police after he found what appeared to be a human foot, triggering a major police response. Police initially said they believed it was an actual human foot, but later confirmed it was a hoax. “We can confirm that this is a fake,” a police spokesperson said. “This is not a human foot.”