French officials: 2 in custody in killing spree

Apr 14, 2012, 4:14 PM

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) – French police have two people in custody in connection with four murders outside Paris that authorities fear may be the work of a serial killer, officials said Saturday.

One was arrested Saturday afternoon, said an official close to the investigation. He added that police were carrying out searches following the arrest.

A judicial official, meanwhile, said another person was in custody, without specifying when the suspect was brought in. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

Prosecutors have said that the same semiautomatic gun was used in all four attacks in the Essonne region and that two victims lived in the same building.

France is on alert after a string of shootings last month in the southwest that police say was the work of an Islamist militant. That suspect was shot dead in a standoff with security forces.

In the Essonne killings, authorities have stressed there’s no evidence of a link to terrorism.

The first victim was killed in November; a suspect was detained in that crime but has since retracted his confession. The most recent murder was April 5, after which authorities said they weren’t sure if just one person was behind the killings.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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French officials: 2 in custody in killing spree