A 40-year-old illegal migrant living in France has been arrested in Montpellier after being suspected of murdering a 45-year-old homeless Romanian and was found wearing the murder victim’s shoes.
The Romanian man’s body was found in January in a vacant lot in the city by police near the Montpellier-Nîmes railway line. Police say that they were able to track down the Algerian illegal migrant after surveillance footage showed him in the area wearing the shoes given to the Romanian by a local charity, Metropolitain reports.
According to investigators, the Algerian had also frequented homeless shelters and other organisations that help the poor and the homeless including those that were used by the victim. Whether or not the Algerian knew the victim beforehand, police were not able to say.
The Algerian told police that he had been in the area at the time, and had seen the Romanian but claimed that he was already dead when he got there and was too scared to call police in case they deported him.
He was not able to explain why he returned to the murder scene three hours later to steal the man’s shoes and his sleeping bag, why his clothing had the victim’s blood on it, and why samples of his blood were also found at the scene.
The Romanian is believed to have died from blunt force trauma to the head, although so far no weapon has been found.
The case is only the latest in a long list of murders perpetrated by failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants across Europe following the 2015 migrant crisis.
The murdered Romanian is also not the first homeless individual to have been attacked. In February of last year, six asylum seekers were arrested in the German capital of Berlin after they attempted to set a homeless man on fire.
More recently, the brutal murder of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro, allegedly by a Nigerian migrant drug dealer, sparked outrage in Italy and may have influenced the election success of the anti-mass migration La Lega headed by firebrand Matteo Salvini.
Mastropietro was killed and then dismembered, the pieces then put in suitcases and left by the side of the road.
Salvini, whose party beat coalition partner Forza Italia on Sunday, saw a record vote share and campaigned heavily on Italy-first anti-mass migration issues.