Chinese families shaken by grisly murder in 'safe' Canada
Published Saturday, June 2, 2012 5:58PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:44AM EDT
As an international manhunt continues for the man who killed and dismembered Lin Jun, Chinese students in Montreal say their families are shaken by the incident.
Friends of 33-year-old computer science student Lin said they are shocked by the grisly murder.
"How does it happen? I don't know how you prepare for the whole story," said Zhang Weiyang, a friend who knew Lin from their English-as-a-second-language course.
Zhang said his parents have been in constant contact with him and his twin brother Siyang since the news of the murder spread to their homeland.
"Don't go out, only be with someone else," they've cautioned him, said Zhang.
Lin was killed and then dismembered in a Cote-des-Neiges apartment last week. His torso was found in a suitcase outside the building on May 29, the same day two packages were found containing other body parts. The suspect has not been arrested.
Lin's Cote-des-Neiges apartment was cleaned out Friday night by two men, neither of whom would speak to the media – but one is known as a close friend of Lin's.
Chinese-language media has been following the horrific crime closely, and reporters visiting from the country say the murder has changed the perception of Canada as a safe place to live and study.
"I think that some students will think again whether they should come to Canada," said reporter Chen We Jin of Fairchild Television.
Lin, a man from Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, was described by his former employer, convenience store owner as a responsible honest man, while the superintendant at his apartment building referred to him as "a quiet, decent guy."
Photos and posts found on Chinese social media website Sina Weibo point to a different image, with a Photoshopped picture of his face distorted with gnarled teeth and orange skin covered in veins.
A second photo posted to his account is of an empty Montreal metro car and is entitled "Midnight Cannibalism Train."
As the story continues to unfold, Lin's friends and those sadden by his death have begun to show an outpouring of grief over his violent demise. As of 6 p.m. Saturday, close to 1,000 people had "liked" his memorial Facebook page.
Foreign Affairs offers condolences
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird reached out to China's envoy to Canada on Friday, sending condolences for the "senseless killing of Chinese student Jun Lin."
Officials said Baird promised to keep the Chinese up to date with developments in the international search for the suspect in the vicious killing.
Montreal police have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for 29-year-old suspect Luka Magnotta, who has also been added to Interpol's wanted persons list.
On Friday, French police announced that they are actively searching for the murder suspect and believe he is hiding in the country. A police official in France said the country's fugitive unit is currently searching for him as it appears as though Magnotta, 29, flew from Montreal to Paris last weekend.
At a Friday afternoon press conference police representative Ian Lafreniere said that 190 countries around the world had issued an arrest warrant for Magnotta, who left Montreal May 26 for an undisclosed destination in Europe.
Lafreniere said he did not want to specify his destination.
"I'm not going to say which country because, if I did that, people would limit their search to that country," he told a news conference.
"And as you know, people who travel in Europe can jump from one country to another without even having a passport. He could be anywhere in Europe and there's even been talk he might have returned to Canada under another identity."
Lafreniere confirmed that the warrant issued for Magnotta's arrest is for first-degree murder. It was originally for second-degree murder.
Magnotta has used myriad aliases over the years and legally had his name changed from Eric Clinton Kirk Newman on Aug. 12, 2006, while he still lived in Ontario before moving to Quebec. His online posts also suggest he has a longtime fascination with identity change and escape.
On Friday night Montreal police representative Ian Lafreniere said that Magnotta is sought on charges of murder as well as the following other crimes: offering an indignity to a dead human body or human remains (182 of the criminal code); publishing materials of an obscene matter (163), using the postal system to transmit obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material (168) and stalking-related offenses (264).