Four murders, all involving the same weapon, all in the same Paris region and all carried out since November have raised concerns that a serial killer may be on the loose in the suburbs of the French capital.
The killings have all taken place in the Essone region and according to Prosecutor Marie-Suzanne Le Queau were all carried out using a small-calibre 7.65mm semi-automatic weapon.
The latest murder, of a 47-year-old woman on Thursday, has sparked concern as France continues to recover from the recent wave of terror-related killings in the south.
The most recent victim of the Essone murders is Nadjia Boudjemia-Lahcenea, 47, who was killed near the entrance to her block of flats in Grigny on Thursday.
There is heightened sensitivity in France following the attacks in Toulouse, in which Mohamed Merah killed seven people, including three children, before being shot dead by a police sniper after a 32-hour siege.
However, French authorities have stressed there is as yet no evidence of any terrorist link in the current series of killings in Paris.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant told French radio Europe-1 today that he fears a serial killer might be responsible and that "maximum resources" would be used to find the perpetrator.
The similarities in the last three murders were especially clear as all the victims had been shot in the head.
In Thursday’s murder the killer is reported to have fled on a motorbike. Gun cartridges were reportedly found at the scene of the crime.
The first victim was a 35-year-old lab assistant, Nathalie Davis, who was shot in her building in late November.
She was killed using a different method to the other three victims, but it is reported that the same weapon was used.
The second victim, Jean-Yves Bonnerue, 52, was a neighbor of the first victim and was killed on February 22.
This was followed by Marcel Brunetto, 81, who lived in the suburb of Ris-Orangis which is next to Grigny.
Marcel Brunetto appeared to have no connection with the first two victims.
Authorities said today that they are still attempting to confirm whether or not the killings were carried out by one person and whether there are any links between the victims.
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