Police investigating a chewed up human leg bone found in a park in Berlin have arrested a 41-year-old high school math and chemistry teacher on suspicion of sexually-motivated murder and cannibalism, according to German police.
The victim has been identified only as Stephen T., a 44-year-old high-voltage lineman who disappeared after meeting the math teacher on the gay hook-up website Planet Romeo, Berlin prosecutors said Friday.
An urban trekker found the flesh-free leg bone and the lineman’s other skeletal remains on Nov. 8. Police originally thought the bite marks on the bones could have been made by an animal, but now believe they are from the math teacher, whose name has not been released due to German privacy regulations.
The lineman disappeared from his apartment in Berlin’s Lichtenberg district on September 5, telling his roommate he was going to meet a friend. Police say the math teacher and the lineman exchanged several conversations in a chatroom on the Planet Romeo website. The website is not tied to cannibalism but is a popular hook-up venue.
Police then used information from the website to find the math teacher’s home where they found knives, a bone cutting saw commonly used by surgeons and a larger cooler, according to the German newspaper Bild. Investigators also found 50 pounds of sodium hydroxide which can be used to dissolve flesh and body tissue. The suspect told police he planned to use the chemical to make soap.
Germany has prosecuted several cannibals in recent years, including a police officer who was convicted of murdering a man he met on a German chat room dedicated to cannibalism in 2016, and the infamous Rotenburg cannibal Armin Meiwes who also killed and consumed a man he met online.