Miami cops investigate Magnotta in cold case
Denis Mainville and Ian Lafrenière speak to the press regarding the arrest of Luka Rocco Magnotta on June 5, 2012. (Michel Desbiens/QMI Agency)
Miami police said they will investigative possible links between suspected killer Luka Magnotta and a three-year-old cold case of a murdered and dismembered young man.
Body parts belonging to 21-year-old Omar Laparra were found floating in plastic bags along the Biscayne Bay in 2009, according to Miami Sgt. Confesor Gonzalez.
Gonzalez wouldn't give too many details about the case but said that Laparra's arms and legs were removed after he was killed, which is similar to the way Jun Lin, 33, was murdered and dismembered at the end of May.
Lin's remains were found on May 29, stuffed in a suitcase behind a Montreal apartment building. Magnotta is suspected to have mailed parts of Lin's body to Canadian political parties and two schools in British Columbia.
German police arrested Magnotta, 29, in Berlin, Germany, on June 4. Montreal police charged him with Lin's murder.
Gonzalez told QMI Agency on Saturday that he was only made aware of the possible links between Laparra's murder and suspected killer Magnotta when a Montreal journalist called him.
"The journalist mentioned that Magnotta may have travelled to Miami," he said. "But so far there is nothing that indicates these two murders are linked."
Gonzalez said he will "absolutely" call Montreal police to discuss the case.
However, Gonzalez said that aside from the dismemberment aspect of the two files, there isn't much else similar.
Magnotta and Lin knew each other, according to Montreal police. A source told QMI the men were lovers and Magnotta became upset because Lin ended the relationship and was seeing another man.
Gonzalez said Laparra's murder was likely random. Moreover, he said that there "was no indication the deceased was gay."
Gonzalez said Laparra was living in Miami with his brothers. He went to a restaurant the night he went missing and drank heavily with friends, including one of his brothers, said Gonzalez.
A gold-coloured Honda Accord allegedly picked up Laparra on a Miami street corner "and that was the last time anyone saw him," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the Miami angle has been "over-represented in the media" and "it's a long-shot" that it's connected to the Lin murder.
There have been several other reports of Magnotta sightings and other crimes linked to the suspected killer as the case has garnered international media attention.
There were reports that police in Gatineau, Que., were looking into links between Magnotta and a murder on their territory.
Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said he only heard of the possible Miami connection through the media. However, he confirmed that the Los Angeles police is checking any possible link with Magnotta and the January murder of Hervey Medellin, a 66-year-old gay former flight attendant. Although the L.A. Times reports a police source said Magnotta is not believed to be connected to the slaying.
Lafreniere said the Montreal police have received close to 500 tips from around the world regarding the Magnotta case. He said Interpol, which placed the man on its international wanted list, received 2,000 tips.
Police haven't yet established a timeline of Magnotta's whereabouts, a difficult task as the suspected killer travelled under different names, Lafreniere said.
"Usually it's not long, sometimes a matter a minutes to establish a timeline," Lafreniere said. "But for him, it's different."