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Witnesses report seeing Canadian psycho in Paris and Clichy

media Luka Rocco Magnotta, aka Eric Clinton Newman or Vladimir Romanov Reuters/Montreal Police

French police swooped on a hotel in Bagnolet, just outside Paris, on Saturday after a report that Canadian alleged murderer, Luka Rocco Magnotta, had been spotted there. They are now certain the so-called “Canadian psycho”, has been in Paris and the surrounding area over the last few days and have spoken to a gay man who says he stayed with him.

The suspect had left his room in the Bagnolet hotel, according to a police source, but they found pornographic magazines and sick bags from the airline that Magnotta flew with from  Montreal to Paris.

Tracking devices in eastern Paris also picked up his mobile phone, the source said.

Witnesses’ accounts and other evidence have convinced police that Magnotta, who was born Eric Newman and has used several aliases, has been in France “since Friday at least”, an anonymous source told the AFP news agency.

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He is wanted for the alleged murder and dismemberment of Chinese student Jun Lin and believed to be very likely to kill again and could do so soon.

Paris police have visited bars and hotels in the Batignolles area in Paris’s XVII’s arrondissement with one witness reporting seeing him drink Coca-Cola before leaving with a “well-built” man, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

He is also reported to have spent several evenings in the Bastille area and is believed to have stayed in a hotel in the Seine-Saint-Denis department just outside Paris.

And, Le Parisien reports, a gay man in the town of Clichy-la-Garenne has told police that Magnotta stayed at his home at the beginning of the week, although he did not discover his identity until he saw wanted notices distributed since Thursday.

Police are viewing CCTV footage from Paris streets and public transport for a sight of the suspect. Canadian police believe that he is very likely to have disguised himself as a woman and have distributed an identikit picture of him in that role.

They are also checking on places Magnotta visited when he came to France in 2010. At the time he took photos of himself at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre pyramid and outside the Moulin Rouge nightspot in Pigalle.

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