Belgian killer leaves grisly find for police

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The Independent Online
Brussels (AP) - Three more garbage bags with cut-up body parts were discovered yesterday in southern Belgium, raising fears that a serial killer may have struck again.

Over the past month, police have discovered some 15 bags with body parts from at least four, and possibly six, women around the city of Mons some 40 miles south of the capital, Brussels.

Yesterday's macabre discoveries, in a residential area just outside Mons, added to the shock of a nation already reeling from a series of child-sex murders that has left at least five girls dead. Marc Dutroux, a convicted rapist, was arrested last August and held on murder charges.

Police have been intensively hunting for the killer of the latest victims over the past three weeks, but to no avail.

Initially, the killer cut away identifying marks from body parts, but he disposed of the head of a victim last week, a move which was seen as an attempt to provoke police.

At least four victims have been confirmed, police said, as seven feet, detached from bodies, have been discovered. But the analysis of torsos, arms, legs and one head was continuing, and officials said the death toll could have risen to six.

No details of Friday's find were available. In all the killings so far, body parts have been cut off with surgical precision and neatly packed into garbage bags.

Investigators are convinced that one killer is responsible for all the deaths, especially since they have established that the bodies of the victims are cut up in an almost identical way.

Although the body parts are being discovered only some 20 miles from the site where police dug up the remains of four sexually abused girls last summer, police said there was no indication that the two cases were linked. A fifth child-sex victim was dug up in Brussels last month.