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Body parts mailed to Vancouver schools belong to Lin Jun: police

Hands and feet mailed to two Vancouver schools and political parties in Ottawa all belong to a Chinese student whose dismembered torso was found stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in the trash in Montreal, police confirmed Wednesday.

The news came as German officials said that Luka Rocco Magnotta — who is suspected of killing and dismembering Chinese student Lin Jun — is closer to being extradited back to Canada.

Montreal detectives had been sure the body parts mailed across the country belonged to Lin, the victim of one of Canada's most gruesome slayings, but were waiting for confirmation by laboratory analysis.

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"All the body parts that were found — the torso in Montreal, the foot and hand in Ottawa, the foot and hand in Vancouver — are from the same body, that of Mr. Lin," Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere, a Montreal police spokesman, said in an interview Wednesday evening.

"We've had official confirmation with the arrival of DNA test results, and we have also validated this though the presence of Mr. Lin's parents in Montreal."

The 33-year-old victim's head has still not been found and police have made its recovery a priority so the family can have some measure of closure.

Mr. Magnotta, a 29-year-old porn actor and escort, is now awaiting extradition to face charges of first-degree murder in Mr. Lin's death, which grabbed worldwide headlines.

Mr. Magnotta was arrested last week in Germany after an international manhunt when he was spotted by an employee at an Internet cafe in Berlin.

Cmdr. Lafreniere said police are now working to establish a timeline on Mr. Magnotta's whereabouts.

"It's usually pretty simple but this time we are dealing with a suspect who travelled under different identities," he said, noting Mr. Magnotta maintained 70 Facebook pages and 20 websites. "There is a lot of information and a lot of research to do."

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A candlelight vigil is planned for Thursday in Montreal to honour Mr. Lin, a well-liked computer science and engineering student at Concordia University.

Mr. Lin's torso was found May 29 after a janitor at a Montreal apartment building became suspicious of a suitcase left behind after garbage pickup and opened it.

On the same day, a foot arrived in a package delivered to the Conservative Party of Canada in Ottawa and a hand was intercepted at a Canada Post warehouse in the same city before it was delivered to the Liberals.

The other body parts arrived at the Vancouver schools about a week later.

Detectives are also investigating a video that was posted online, which allegedly shows Mr. Lin's killing.

Meanwhile, German authorities say a Berlin court has ordered Mr. Magnotta to be held in pre-extradition custody as his likely return to Canada edges closer.

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Berlin state court spokesman Tobias Kaehne said Wednesday the court decided at the end of last week that there was enough evidence to keep Mr. Magnotta behind bars pending extradition.

"That means that he must now remain in custody until a possible extradition to Canada," he said.

Mr. Magnotta and his lawyer had to be informed of the decision before it could be announced to the public.

Berlin state prosecutors now must formally request the German justice and foreign ministries to sign off on the extradition, said prosecutors' spokesman Martin Steltner.

"We hope it will go quickly," he said.

Mr. Magnotta has said he will not fight extradition, though it is still possible for his lawyer to raise objections.

Evelyn Ascher, Magnotta's court-appointed lawyer, has declined comment.

Even if the extradition is uncontested, authorities say it could still be up to two weeks before they are finally able to return Magnotta to Canada where he faces charges of murder, defiling a corpse and using the mail system for delivering "obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous" material.

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