MONTREAL — Police confirmed Wednesday that a human body part found in a Montreal park is indeed the missing head of Jun Lin, a major break in his murder case that will help bring some closure to his family.
Lin, 33, was killed and his body was dismembered in late May in a particularly gruesome slaying that made international headlines.
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The rest of the computer science student’s body had been found except for his head — and Montreal police had repeatedly declared its recovery a priority.
A spokesman for the force said detectives were notified of the match Wednesday following a laboratory analysis, which confirmed that a body part uncovered in Montreal’s Angrignon Park on Sunday was Lin’s head.
“All of the body parts have been found,” Const. Raphael Bergeron said.
Bergeron said the Chinese national’s family was informed of the development.
With the help of sniffer dogs, officers found the head on the edge of a pond in the sprawling, west-end park.
Police have indicated they were acting on a tip, but they have declined to reveal the source of the information.
Lin’s torso was found locked in a suitcase a few days after his death, while other body parts were mailed to offices of political parties and to two Vancouver schools.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, a former stripper and porn actor, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the killing and will appear in court next year.
The discovery of Lin’s head will bring some peace to his family, who travelled to Montreal from China following his death on May 25.
At a private memorial on June 25 in Montreal, Lin’s mother, Du, described the pain felt by his loved ones.
“We dare not imagine how much suffering Jun underwent, how much horror he felt on the day he was murdered,” she said in the eulogy, a copy of which was provided to news media by Concordia University, his former school.
“Our hearts are broken and bleeding. Every day we live like walking dead without a soul.”
The mother also expressed her anger toward her son’s killer.
“We hope to bring the monster who murdered our son to justice and we hope he will get the punishment he deserves,” she said.
Those who knew Lin, a believer of Buddhism, have described him as a responsible, caring person as well as an excellent student.
Lin’s death attracted waves of sympathy from the public. Shrines filled with heartfelt messages to Lin written in Mandarin, French and English were established near Concordia and at the convenience store where he worked as a part-time cashier.
A fund was created to help the family pay for their travel expenses and Concordia established the Jun Lin Award to help Chinese students and keep his memory alive.
Lin’s torso was found May 29 after a janitor at Magnotta’s Montreal apartment building became suspicious of a suitcase left behind after garbage pickup and opened it.
On the same day, Lin’s foot arrived in a package delivered to the Ottawa headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada and his hand was intercepted at a Canada Post warehouse in the same city before it could be delivered to the Liberals.
His other hand and foot arrived at the Vancouver schools about a week later.
The stomach-churning details of the slaying, and the subsequent international police search, whipped up a storm of media interest around the world.
Magnotta, 29, was arrested in Berlin following an international manhunt that began after Montreal police issued an arrest warrant for his alleged connection to the killing.