Berlin: German police have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of cannibalism after they found a pile of bones stripped completely of flesh in a Berlin suburb.
Berlin prosecutors said Friday they are "investigating at full speed to shed light on the sexual murder with suspicion of a cannibalistic background".
The man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of a 44-year-old man in the German capital in September.
Police did not name the suspect, but Bild daily identified him as Stefan R., a high school maths and chemistry teacher.
Police published a photo of the victim, named as Stefan T., after he disappeared and sought information from the public, but without success.
The bones were found by people strolling in a park in the north-eastern Pankow district on November 8, with forensic analysis later showing them to be Stefan T.'s remains.
Further forensic investigations then led them to the 41-year-old suspect, police said.
"Based on the bones found, which were completely stripped of flesh, and further evidence, we strongly suspect that Stefan T. was the victim of a cannibal," a police officer told Bild.
Investigators reportedly found a large fridge in his cellar, but it was empty.
They also secured chats from an online platform where the victim and the suspect had arranged to meet, Bild reported.
The case recalls that of Detlev Guenzel, a German ex-police officer convicted of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists and chopping him up in an S&M chamber.
Guenzel, 58, had cut the body into small pieces in a slaughter chamber he built in his cellar, before burying them in his garden. There was no evidence that he ate any part of his victim.
In another case that shocked Germany, Armin Meiwes, nicknamed the "cannibal of Rotenburg", was sentenced to life in prison in 2006.