French police shot dead a 32-year-old man suspected of decapitating and partially eating a 13-year-old boy — whose head was found in a bucket, a prosecutor said Monday.
Authorities made the grisly discovery Sunday in an apartment in the southern France town of Tarascon that was rented by the man, who had a psychiatric disorder, public prosecutor Laurent Gumbau told Agence France-Presse.
An investigation into the disappearance of a boy from a care home in Marseille, about 60 miles away, led police to the address in Tarascon, Gumbau told AFP.
“The body found may be that of the minor,” he said, adding that strips of flesh had been ripped from a shoulder, sparking suspicions of cannibalism.
However, it was “impossible at the current time to confirm the hypothesis of anthropophagy (cannibalism),” he added.
The man, who had previous convictions for acts of violence, fled from his apartment by jumping over rooftops, neighbors told the news outlet.
But he was found three hours later and shot dead, the prosecutor said, adding that
the suspect did not appear to have been armed at the time of his death and that he had not been formally identified as the killer.