French man arrested with decapitated head in bag: police

French police on Friday detained a man who presented himself at a police station in the south of the country carrying the decapitated head and a penis in a bag.

French man arrested with decapitated head in bag: police
The town hall at Frejus, a Mediterranean town situated between the glitzy resorts of St Tropez and Cannes. Photo: Cyrilb1881/Wikimedia Commons

“An individual handed himself in to police in Frejus after cutting of the head and penis of another man,” police in the southern Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region said, confirming a report first published in the Var-Matin daily.

Judicial police from the nearby port city of Toulon who are leading the investigation told AFP that the man, 38, had presented himself to police Friday morning in Frejus, a Mediterranean town situated between the glitzy resorts of St Tropez and Cannes.

“He showed the human head and was immediately taken to the police headquarters and detained,” said a police official, who asked not to be named, adding that the man had been known to police until now only for “petty crime”.

Var-Martin said that investigators headed to an apartment in the district of the city where the man said he had committed the crime and found a decapitated corpse. Regional prosecutors are due to issue a further statement later in the evening.

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Suspect arrested over 2012 murder of British family in French Alps

French police on Wednesday detained a man over the 2012 killing of a British family in a remote part of the French Alps, prosecutors said, a rare development in one of France's most notorious unsolved cold cases.

French Alpine village of Lathuile
The murders took place near the small village of Lathuile in the Savoie area of France. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

The arrest will allow investigators to carry out searches and check the individual’s movements around the time of the killing of three members of the Al-Hilli family and a passing French cyclist on September 5th, 2012, prosecutors in Annecy said.

The individual, whose age and gender were not specified, was detained by police from the Alpine town of Chambery.

Saad al-Hilli, a 50-year-old Iraqi-born British tourist in France, was gunned down along with his 47-year-old wife Iqbal and her 74-year-old mother  in a woodland car park close to the village of Chevaline in the hills above Lake Annecy.

Each was shot several times in their British-registered BMW estate car and more than two dozen used bullet casings were found near the vehicle.

The couple’s two daughters, aged seven and four at the time, survived the gruesome attack, but the older girl was shot and badly beaten.

A 45-year-old French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, was also killed after apparently stumbling upon the scene.

Almost a decade after the killings, French and British police have so far failed to make any real progress in the case despite a massive effort involving officers on both sides of the Channel.