• By The Financial District


Berlin investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder and cannibalism after discovering the bones of a man who disappeared in September, the German broadcast service Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

The suspect, reportedly a high school teacher, is believed to have carried out a sexually motivated homicide, according to the public prosecutor. "The suspect had an interest in cannibalism," Berlin prosecutors' office spokesman Martin Steltner also told the Associated Press (AP.) "He searched online for the topic." While searching his apartment, the police found cutting tools, including knives and saws, as well as bone fragments and traces of blood.

"A 41-year-old suspect was arrested yesterday & 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 app. The case invoked comparison with two earlier cases in Germany where the murder and the victim agreed to the crime. However, Steltner said on Friday that the latest cannibalism case was different. "There are no indications that the victim consented in any way," he said.