Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Miami Becomes Latest Jurisdiction to Investigate for Magnotta Links to Cold Case: Now Miami's Looking into Magnotta

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Miami Becomes Latest Jurisdiction to Investigate for Magnotta Links to Cold Case: Now Miami's Looking into Magnotta

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - The Miami Police Department is the latest force searching for ties between Luka Rocco Magnotta and an unsolved homicide, as law-enforcement agencies across the continent take a closer look at the distinct Montreal killing.

Magnotta, arrested in Berlin following an international manhunt, is the prime suspect in the death and dismemberment of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin.

While there is no evidence to connect Magnotta to any such crime elsewhere, the brutality of his alleged modus operandi and his extensive international travels have caught the attention of investigators in several jurisdictions.

The latest is a veteran Miami homicide detective, whose department has been trying to solve a three-year-old cold case that shares similarities to the Montreal slaying.

Sgt. Confessor Gonzalez plans to contact Montreal police to explore possible links between Magnotta and the mysterious, 2009 death and dismemberment of Guatemalan national Omar Laparra.

He said he will also take a look at Magnotta's movements back and forth across the U.S.-Canada border.

"I looked up the story -- rather interesting," Gonzalez told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.

"If Mr. Rocco was in Miami at the time of my murder then yeah, I'll be definitely looking at him."

Miami, where Magnotta is thought to have spent some time in recent years, is now one of several jurisdictions reading up on the unique circumstances around Lin's death -- which has shocked people around the world.

Police forces in Los Angeles and Gatineau, Que., have also indicated that they're inspecting Magnotta's recent activity because both jurisdictions have unsolved homicide cases involving corpse mutilation.

Miami police say Laparra, 21, vanished after leaving a bar in Miami's Little Havana neighbourhood early in the morning on May 31, 2009. He was never seen alive again.

Over the following several days, Gonzalez said Laparra's remains were found stuffed in four plastic bags floating in waterways around the southern part of the city.

"We were never able to put it together," he said about the case, which was described by U.S. TV show America's Most Wanted. …

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