French police are crying cannibalism after a man in southern France allegedly cut out a man’s heart and tongue with the intention of eating them.
Police in Nouilhan arrested a 26-year-old homeless man late Thursday night. According to local outlets, the man is accused of breaking into a 90-year-old’s home and bashing in his skull with a metal tool from the resident’s barn. Investigators say the man then set fire to the corpse, cut out the victim’s heart and tongue and may have cooked them, Le Parisien reports.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered a calcinated body, along with some cooked meat and white beans on a plate.
After the 26-year-old fled the home, he allegedly assaulted a man on a tractor, breaking his shoulder. As the police narrative goes, he then entered another home and managed to grab a shotgun before he was chased out by the owner.
Officers were able to find the man and arrested him shortly before midnight. During his arrest, he reportedly acted “very calm” and “not aggressive.”
It’s not immediately clear whether the man actually cooked or ate the body parts. However, from his statements, authorities say there is reason to believe he cooked and ate the 90-year-old’s heart and tongue, Le Nouvel Observateur reports.
“It would seem he acted because of voices, messages that he was receiving and that were telling him to act in this way. Those are his first statements,” local prosecutor Chantal Firmigier-Michel told the Agence France-Presse.
The man has already undergone a psychiatric evaluation, which revealed an “abolition of mental faculties,” 20 Minutes reports. An autopsy will be performed Monday to confirm the truth of the accused’s statements.
According to Le Figaro, Jean Duval, the mayor of the small town, which is home to some 200 residents, said he was “shocked” by the tragedy and called the scene at the 90-year-old’s home “particularly traumatic.”