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Police arrest Russian cannibal suspects

Two young men ? one a butcher -? have been arrested on suspicion of killing a 16-year-old girl and eating parts of her body, Russian prosecutors said yesterday.

The girl disappeared after leaving her home in St. Petersburg for school on January 19, the city prosecutor's spokesman, Sergei Kapitonov, said. He said she was killed that night, and that body parts believed to be hers were found in plastic bags scattered around the city.

Police arrested Yuri Mozhnov, a florist, and Maxim Golovatskikh, a street-market butcher and one-time psychiatric patient. on Saturday, Kapitonov said.

The suspects, both 19, knew the victim, and she accompanied them voluntarily to an apartment rented by another acquaintance on the day she went missing, Kapitonov said. Prosecutors believe they drowned the girl in a bathtub.

"The arrestees said they ate the girl's body parts because they were hungry," Kapitonov said. They told investigators they baked some body parts with potatoes, he said.

They allegedly disposed of her bagged remains in garbage containers and bodies of water. Bags with body parts were found in at least two locations, he said. Both men are being held on suspicion of murder.

St. Petersburg news Web site cited a top city prosecutor, Andrei Lavrenko, as saying investigators believe the suspects decided to kill the victim after an argument erupted between her and Golovatskikh.

Moscow-based tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda yesterday cited a department head at the St. Petersburg forensic medicine office, Vitaly Sysoyev, as saying the body parts had not been positively identified as those of the girl, who he said was still officially listed as missing.

Kapitonov said he was unaware of that.

Lavrenko said investigators found traces of blood when they ripped out plumbing and floorboards in the apartment, reported.

Mozhnov was convicted of robbery in 2005, Kapitonov said. He said Golovatskikh had been treated in the past at a psychiatric hospital.


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